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raitt) Memoir, Critical C»i00ertation, anD 



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We have sometimes thought that, even were Burns' poetry 
to perish, with the exception of the fragments contained in the 
criticisms which have been written on his genius, these would 
serve to preserve his memory for ever, and to give an im- 
pression of his powers scarcely inferior to that suggested by 
his whole works ; nay, that even were it possible that only 
the criticisms themselves should survive, they would at once 
immortalise his name and that of their authors. It is a true 
sign of wit when it begets wit in others ; and that genius 
must be transcendent which rouses gifted men to surpass 
themselves in its praise, and makes ordinary writers, for a 
season, appear lialf-iuspired. A collection of the eloquent 
panegyrics which have been passed on the Ploughman-Poet, 
in prose and in verse, by writers of every grade and of every 
country — in Scotland, England, Ireland, America, Germany, 
France, Italy, and the British Colonies — would form a 
monument nearly as large, and far more lasting and brilliant, 
than any of the mausoleums which have been erected to his 
memory in Dumfries, Edinburgh, or by the banks of his 
native Doon. Extraordinary, too, has been the unanimity of 
his critics. While differing widely in their estimates of his 
character and morale^ they have, without a single exception, 
expressed a lofty idea of his powers of mind and of the ex- 
cellence of his poetry. Here, as on the subject of Shakspeare, 




and on scarcely any other, have Whigs and Tories, Infidels 
and Christians, bigoted Scotchmen and bigoted sons of John 
Bull, the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the prosaic 
and the enthusiastic lovers of poetry, the strait-laced and the 
morally lax, met and embraced each other. And hence, per- 
haps, the number and the excellence of the essays which have 
been written about his genius. Nothing so fatal to criticism 
as timidity and want of confidence. But all the critics of 
Burns have felt themselves sustained and cheered on by 
general sympathy; and that the opinions they expressed 

^ were only the echoes of a universal and warmly-cherished 

Besides the merit of the poems, several other causes have 

) contributed to this unanimity. In the first place, there had 
arisen, shortly after Burns' death, a strong conviction that, 
with all his errors, he had been, on the whole, a neglected and 
ill-used man ; and a sympathy with his unhappy fate led to 
a generous estimate of his poetry. Elliot says that the public 

" Gave him more than gold ; 
They read the brave man^s book.''' 

Yes ! but they read it with far more interest and admiration, 
because they knew that it was the production of a poor unfor- 
tunate, who had died little better than a pauper in a third-rate 
Scottish town. Then they remembered his age — thirty-seven 
— an age Avhen most men have not reached their prime, and 
when everything might have been still expected from a poet, 
whose power had been growing with his growth, and strength- 
ening with his strength. And then, he had done so little, in 
proportion to his powers. These small odes, epistles, stories, 
and songs, what were they compared to the man manifested 
in them ? Nothing, in one sense ; in another, they seemed 
dearer on account of their smallness, and were valued and 
cherished, as you could conceive would be the first fair blos- 
soms of a garden, where spring had never come to summer. 

There had beea long, too, floating through the land an 
idea of Bm-ns, as having in him a general gigantic power, 
apart altogether from his poetical faculty. Wherever he 


liad gone, he had, by his large bright ejes — which flamed 
like " two chariot-lamps in a dark night" — by his manly, 
fearless manners ; by his authoritative, but not presumptuous 
air J by his rich and powerful conversation, as well as by 
his pregnant silence, excited in all he met a certain inde- 
scribable impression, that here was — strangely disguised, 
indeed, ill accoutred, and partially weakened — one of the 
kings of men ; not the less a prince, that he seemed a 
prince uncrowned and in part degraded. This impression 
was as universal as it was indescribable. It was felt at 
the penny-wedding, where, some rude fellows becoming 
noisy, the Poet threatened to " hang them up in sang like 
potato-bogles," and they instantly shrunk into silence. It 
was felt in the mason-clubs, and the coteries of the kirk- 
yard in the w^, as well as by the most select companies 
in Edinburgh. To women, it took the form of fascination 
— a fascination which drew to him a Highland Mary and a 
Duchess of Gordon, a Jean Armour, an Eliza Burnet, and a 
Maria Riddell — drew them so strongly, that we could conceive 
some of them crying, like Adah in " Cain," as she felt the 
perilous attraction of the mighty Archangel drawing her 
nearer and nearer still — 

" Save me, save me from him ! " 

With this commanding and royal nature, even his foibles, 
caprices, and errors seemed somehow to consort. They re- 
sembled the errors and foibles of a powerful and popular 
monarch. There was, withal, a self-assertion about him, 
which added to, instead of detracting from, the effect. He 
was " great, and knew how great he was." He wore his hair 
and clothes in a peculiar fashion. He inscribed on the collar 
of his dog the words, " Robert Burns, Poet." He said that, 
when he died, he desired to be buried at full-length, and to 
have every inch of ground to whicli he was entitled. He 
became thus — as well as through that wondrous readiness of 
speech, wit, and verse which he possessed, and which has 
seldom been combined with such original genius and mas- 
culine talent — a fourth estate within a wide sphere, and 



suggested the possibility of the very highest achievements. 
And, altliough his short life prevented the fulfilment of 
this promise, and although many who knew him might be 
tempted to cry, as they took up his works, " Is this ALL Burns 
has left the world?" they would soon add, "Yet it is the 
all of Burns, and must be welcomed with thankfulness, and 
embalmed in joyful tears." 

" Kings' chaff" is proverbially " better than other people's 
corn." And kings' chaff we may call the poetry and letters of 
Burns when compared with himself, as tradition has handed 
down his memory ; but compared to the works of most writ- 
ers, how precious! What invaluable grains are sprinkled 
with no sparing hand through it! Not the least remarkable 
of its characteristics is its combination of ease with j^oint. 
Few writers of poetry have attained to thj^ in perfection. 
Their ease has too often been insipid, and their point has been 
forced. Burns is never so easy as when he is throwing out 
the most brilliant, burnished, and compact ideas, as the whole 
of " Tarn o' Shanter," some passages in his " Epistles " to 
Smith, Lapraik, &c., and his " Vision," sufficiently prove. 
He goes at the gallop, and strikes out sparks of fire at 
every step. Kapidity of flow and richness of fancy are 

*^ thoroughly combined. There is, in some authors, a prodigi- 
ous rush of mere verbiage, but few ideas or images sparkle 
on the stream. It is a cataract of furious mud — noisy and 
dull ; but Burns' poetry is a Highland torrent, as clear and 
bright as it is rapid. He exhibits another combination — not 

Q very common — that of enthusiasm and sense. He is a union 
of the homely sage — like the first rude shaping of a Socrates 
— and the inspired Bard ; and, in his large dark eye, you see 
the rays of piercing sagacity and of " a hare-brained senti- 
mental trace " meeting, if not thoroughly reconciled. Some- 
times, while the subject-matter of his song is reason, its 
method and language is rhapsody, and the combination of 
the two adds to the effect of both. But seldom, except in 
a few of his letters, written in a spirit of mock-heroic con- 
tempt for his correspondents, or else after " potations pottle 
deep," does he soar into the altitudes of extravagance, or sink 


into the abysses of the bathos. All his sober and earnest efiorts 
are as remarkable for their sound sense and just taste, as they 
are for the force of their language and the brilliance of their 
imagination or wit. A certain coarseness, indeed, often ad- 
heres even to his better productions, but this, generally, as 
Allan Cunningham says, with another application, was the 
" red earth of the plough clinging to his shoes, as he trode the 
drawing-room carpet," and has often a picturesque, if not 
always a pleasing, effect on his poetry. The intensity of his 
national spirit has often been noticed. To be a Scotch Bard 
was his highest ambition. He aspired at first, at least, to no 
wider audience than the natives of Scotland, and to no loftier 
eminence than to be the faithful portrayer of Scotch scenery 
and manners. He rose in an age when the peculiarities of his 
country were rather past their bloom, and demanded a poet's 
hand to bind them up ere they faded ; and, so far from being 
ashamed of any, he gloried in them all. He held aloft the 
thistle, not as a pretty weed, but as a sceptre, and he set the 
" maiden-sheaf" of the kirn as a crown around his brow. He 
found his Parnassus in " Corsiucon," and his Helicon in 
" Scotch Drink." He sang of all things Scottish — from her 
mountains to her field-mice — from her forests to her daisies — 
from her rivers to her " souple scones " — from her heroes to 
her haggises — fi-om her nobles and poets to her " Jolly Beg- 
gars " — fi'om her most solemn religious services to her wildest 
revelries — firom her churches to her smithies. He did this 
partly from enthusiastic love for the theme, partly from a very 
natural desire to be popular among his neighbours, and partly 
from a prophetic foresight that his name was for ever to be 
associated with that of his country — that he was to be Scot- 
land's Bard. His very narrowness of early circumstances, 
and want of thorough training, contributed to qualify him to be 
peculiarly and par excelleiice our Poet. These created a gener- 
ous prejudice, and a noble one-sided passion, for his native 
land. Every boy tliinks his native valley the most beautiful 
under heaven, and often hymns its praises in heartfelt song. 
Bums — a giant in intellect, but, to the last, a boy in feeling — 
has expressed his notion, that Scotland is the first and fairest 




,. of all lands, in his immortal verse ; and other nations have 
pardoned the error for the sake of the poetry in which it has 
been embalmed. He loved his country more warmly, as he 
sprang from the peasantry, — a peasantry in whose character 
attachment to their natal soil has ever been the principal 
element, and who have loved it the more for its niggardly 
soil, wild scenery, and stormy heaven j for it is as true of 
the Scotchman as of the Swiss — 

" Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms, 
And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms ; 
And as a child, when scaring sounds molest. 
Clings close and closer to his mother's breast, 
So the loud torrent and the whirlwind's roar 
But bind him to his native mountains more." 

We question if even in the breast of Scott himself — 
although he said that " if he did not see the heather once 
a-year, he would die" — there burned a stronger or purer 
attachment to " auld Caledonia" than in Burns, although he 
had not an acre in it which he could call his own, and no link 
connecting him with it closer than the handle of a plough at 
one time, and a ganger's rod at another. That country must 
have powerful charms which can create enthusiasm even in 
the minds of its serfs and down- trodden children of toil. 

One of the principal characteristics and originalities of 
Burns' poetry lay in its fine egotism. Many of the most 
delightful passages are founded on his personal experiences. 
There are only a few poets who, at any time, have established 
a claim to be listened to when they talk about themselves j and 
Burns is one of the earliest and noblest of these " chartered " 
egotists. The remarkable circumstances of his life — his self- 
training, his stormy passions, as well as his wonderful genius, 
compelled him to speak, and men to hear him when he spoke, 
of himself. The tone he uses is at once self-conscious and 
self-deprecatory. It is distinguished by a proud liumility. 
His " confiteor " is that of a penitent king. When he praises 
himself, he, at the same time, summons up all his powers to 
prove that he is worthy of his own panegyric. It is genius 
commending genius — " deep calhng unto deep." We see this 


very markedly in Ms letter to Dr Moore — giving an account 
of his early days — and in his "Vision," perhaps the most 
eloquent of all his poems. All self-taught men love to write 
ahout themselves ; and, in general, they write so well on that 
topic, and tell so much that is new and interesting, that we 
eagerly read them. Holcroft, Hogg, Hugh Miller, Clare, 
Bloomfield, Gifford, as well as Burns, have all given delight- 
ful details of their early experiences, and their pursuit of 
knowledge under difficulties ; and to no pages in their works 
do we more fondly and frequently recur than to these. But 
most of such authors have been contented to write in plain prose. 
Burns has found, in his private history, the materials of his 
best poetry. Hence much of the naturalness and the sincerity 
of his song. No laborious talk in his writings about 

" The Alps and Apennine ; 
The Pyi-enean and the river Po ; " 

no forced ravings in reference to objects he knew and cared 
little about, such as the discoveries of the modern astronomy, 
or the glories of the tropical regions — 

" No idly-feign'd poetic pains, 
Arcadian raptures, quaint and tame ; " 

his own hearth, the " lanely ingle-cheek," is brighter in his 
eye than Arcturus or Orion ; his " histie stibble field," his 
" lang yellow broom," his " milk-white thorn," his lonely 
plantain, with the north wind wailing through the fir-branches, 
and tossing to and fro the withered cones, are dearer to him 
than the eternal bloom of Hindostan, or the spicy groves of 
Araby the Blest ; he finds his heroines, not in classic story, or 
in Italian romance, but in the rustic maidens of his neigh- 
bourhood ; and he immortalises as his heroes, not the paladins 
of chivalry, or the chieftains of the mountains, but the Tarn 
o' Shanters of his own district, the cottars of his native 
hamlet, and the Matthew Hendersons of his own convivial 
club.v^ We see in this a genuine independence of soul, and 
the very spirit of that bold little stave — 


" I hae a penny to spend, 

There, thanks to naebody ; 
I hae naething to lend, 
ril borrow frae naebody." 

He seems to say, " If I cannot extract poetiy from my own 
I heart, and from the scenes and characters around me, I shall 
« disdain to go abroad in search of inspiration ; I shall at least 
first try to exhaust the fountains near me ere I search for those 
that are afar. I shall sing the Lugar, ere I sing either Tay 
or Thames, far less the Danube or the Ganges. I shall make 
Coila sacred ground, ere I seek to add to the consecration of 
more favoured spots. My poetry, like charity, shall begin at 

"T^home." In such sentiments, which he did virtually express, 
he spoke the language of pride as much as of patriotism. He 
knew as well as ever Wordsworth did, the effect which the 
contrast between the smallness of the objects described, and the 
greatness of the mind describing them, would be sure to pro- 
duce — what precious " pearls " could be " hung on a cowslip's 
ear," and how the very stoop over a lowly but beautiful object, 
sets off the stature of the giant ; and on this hint he spake 
in his best poems. He has shewn better than any other poet 
what strong effects can be produced by simplicity and nature ; 
at all events, to quote William Pitt's fine morsel of criticism, 

*" " since Shakspeare, there has been no poetry which seems to 
come so sweetly from nature as the poetry of Burns." , It 
resembles less composition than it does one of those gums or 
essences which are distilled by the secret power of nature in 
the silent woods. By what short and simple expressions he 
can start the deepest emotions of the heart, awaken all the 
slumbering passions of humanity, and touch the most electric 
chords of the imagination ! In description, what better and 
more powerful, yet simpler, than the words, " red-wat shod !" 
In passion, what more affectingly beautiful than the little 
line — 

" The summer to nature, my Willie to me ! " 
or the stanza in " Mary Morison " — 


" Though this was fair, and that was braw, 
And yon the toast of a' the toun, 
I sigh'd and said amang them a', 
' Ye are na Mary Morison ! ' " 

In martial spirit, the essence of many epics may be found in 
the last words of " Scots wha hae" — " Let us DO or die; " 
and in the lines — 

" The trumpets sound, the banners fly, 
The ghttering spears are ranked ready ; 
The shouts o' war are heard afar, 
The battle closes thick and bloody" 

In keen-witted sententious thought, expressed in language 
homely as " ploughman's graith," what can be superior to his 
letter to Smith, or his " Epistle to a Young Friend ! " In 
pathos, what heart-rending simplicity in the words of " Queen 
Mary's Lament " — 

" Oh ! soon to me may summer suns, 
Nae mair hght up the mom, 
Nae mair to me the autumn winds 
Wave o'er the yellow corn ! " 

And in the highest style of imagination, what Shakspearean 
horror breathes from the witches' table, especially in that 
simple ghastly line — 

" The gray hairs yet stack to the heft ! " 

And what almost Miltonic sublimity soars out on the words — 

" Then, kneeling down to Heaven's Eternal King, 
The saint, the father, and the husband prays ! " 

or in that unsurpassed stroke of inspiration — 

" And yet the light that led astray 
Was light from Heaven ! " 

Between the simple rod, which, held in the swarthy hand of 
Moses, divided the lied Sea, brought water from the rock, 
and seemed to shine like a sceptre amidst the fires and the 
darkness of Sinai, and these marvellous phenomena, what a 
contrast ! And yet it was a contrast which, no doubt, lieight- 


ened the effect far more than had he held a rod of gold 

studded with gems. And so the homely simplicity of the 

\ language in which a poet records the burning impressions and 

\ the lofty aspirations of his mind, gives them a singular charm, 

' and seems a style predestined for bringing out their full effects. 

It is Natm-e's quiet seal added to and attesting the reality of 

the results of the poetic afflatus. 

In humour and sarcasm, too, Burns has outstripped most of 
his competitors. That humour is ever the highest into which 
the element of imagination is strongly infused — which deals 
in daring strokes, and sometimes escapes the absurd and the 
blasphemous by a single hairsbreadth. Such is occasionally 
the humour of Shakspeare, and often that of Rabelais, Jean 
Paul Richter, Sterne, Christopher North, and Burns. This 
element it is which distinguishes the first class of humorists 
from such writers as Colman, Peter Pindar, and Sheridan, 
whose humour, although exceedingly clever and amusing, 
wants richness, subtlety, and boldness. Burns has nowhere 
been more successful than in his " Death and Dr Hornbook," 
and in his " Address to the Deil," in both of which pieces the 
hand of poetical fancy unlocks the fountain of mirth ; where 
you are compelled at once to laugh and to shudder; and in 
the latter of which there steals in, amidst the grotesque com- 
binations of humorous genius, a pathos equally strange — 

" I'm wae to think upon your den, 
E'en for your sake." 

The same spirit breathes in his minor pieces, such as " Holy 
Willie's Prayer," the " Holy Fair," and the "TwaDogs;" 
and although in some of these he oversteps the limits of pro- 
priety, he almost reconciles us to the error by the successful 
freedom and daring power of the poetry. The longest, and 
perhaps the ablest, of his humorous pieces is the " Jolly 
Beggars." This cantata contains in it the materials of a 
hundred novels — has as many characters, incidents, traits, 
touches, as would have enriched a Gait or a Delta for life; and 
there is a certain queer harmony in it, too, which makes 
the thing the most perfect poetic whole Burns ever con- 


structed. The grouping of the various figures, the way in 
which all the individual details support each other, and unite 
in aiding the general effect — the richness of fancy and micro- 
scopic minuteness of observation discovered, as well as the 
grossness and indecency of much in the picture, remind you 
of some of the masterpieces of Hogarth. The painter, how- 
ever, produces a stronger moral effect than the poet. In the 
" Jolly Beggars," you see vice in its merrier aspects, in its 
frolic, fun, and defiance of care ; in Gin-lane, you follow it 
down to the chambers of death, and are aware of its hideous 
and horrible consequences. Burns displays far more than an 
artistic sympathy with the subject ; he writes the poem with 
his whole heart; nor did Morland ever with more fellow- 
feeling paint his pigs and asses ; nor did Landseer ever go 
with more gusto to his deer and his dogs, than Burns to his 
beggars, strumpets, wandering fiddlers, old soldiers, and hedge- 
poets. Had Crabbe entered " Poosie Nansie's," he would 
have described it afterwards like a parish beadle who had been 
sent in to disperse the meeting. Burns has mingled his very 
soul with the mad revelry, and would be willing to renew it 
every week. Indeed, the " Bard of Homer's craft " is intended 
for himself, on the supposition that he had reached the sub- 
lime consummation to which he sometimes refers — 

" The last o't— the wai-st o't, 
Is only but to beg." 

Some critics have spoken of " Tam o' Shanter" as " coming 
oul from a mould," so rapid, easy, and thorough is the stream 
of its verse ; but this is equally true of the " Jolly Beggars," 
and is more extraordinary, as not only is it a longer strain, 
but it is a strain composed of different kinds of metre. If our 
readers will turn to the poem entitled " Scotch Drink," they 
will, in the last stanza save three — a stanza we had rather not 
quote — find the poet's own description of the way in which 
many of his happier poems flowed upon him, although the 
physical cause he there refers to will not account for the 
marvellous mastery he sometimes displayed over his thoughts 
and words. Being a man of many moods, and of imperfect 



training, it was only at times that " all power was given " 
him over the resources of his rich mind ; and never had he 
more triumphant command of it, in its strength and in its 
coarseness, too, than when he improvised this Scotch and far- 
superior " Beggars' Opera." 

It has been justly said, that in his epistles and poems you 
see more of his general power of mind — in his songs, more of 
his passion; that the one class discovers more of his head, 
and the other more of his heart. This arises, partly from the 
different nature of the compositions, and partly from the diflfe- 
rent times of his life at which his poems and songs were re- 
spectively written. Song-writing does not require, nor permit 
such an exertion of intellect as satire, or didactic poetry, or 
even poetic narrative. Nature, feeling, melody, and above 
all, thorough sincerity and simplicity, are its chief requisites. 
The strong man will indeed be seen in his singing, as well as 
in his more elaborate speech, but he will sing best when 
ungirt and unbending. And thus — even when his songs 
passed into the higher form of the ode, as in his " Scots 
wha hae," and "A Man's a Man for a' That" — always sung 
Burns, who knew that the true spirit of a song-writer is not 
effort or study, but abandonment, and that whenever a strong 
tide of feeling was flowing beside him, lie had only to cast 
himself fearlessly upon it to reach the shore of success. The 
swimmer, who would ride in triumph on the stream of song, 
must strip him of his intellectual harness, and of the gorge- 
ous robes of his imagination, and wear only a simple garland 
on his brow ; and many, who had no such robes to resign, and 
no sucli harness to unloose, have yet, by trusting entirely to 
naked Nature, gained their object. Tannahill and Lady 
Nairn have written songs nearly as good as Burns' best. 
Song-writing, too, must, more than any other species of 
1/ poetry, appeal to universal feelijig ; and because thousands, 
who have no taste for strong sense, or pointed wit, or lofty 
imagination, can relish simple pathos, or broad humour, the 
authors of songs have very wisely accommodated themselves 
to the popular taste. Wordsworth, in his once famous letter 
to James Gray, about Burns, says that his earlier verses are 


more valualile than his later ; and others have gone the length 
of asserting, that his genius, as well as his morale, fell wo- 
fully off in Dumfries. We think the truth to be this, not that 
his intellect became weaker, but that his heart became mor- 
bidly larger ; when he entered the " Queen of the South," he 
might have said, " Hail, thou Fever that shall thenceforth 
be my existence ! I shall never be calm enough again 
for such broad pictures, sententious moralisings, and lively 
naiTatives, as I poured forth in earlier days ; to short bm'sts 
of song or satire — relieving, the one my burning heart, and 
the other, my unutterable misery — shall my genius be now and 
for ever confined ! " And so accordingly it was. His power 
of mind remained, but his impatience of temperament, and his 
melancholy plight, rendered its strong, continuous exercise 

Song-writing, latterly Burns' only true solace, has become 
his most generally admitted claim to fame. What unquench- 
able life is possessed by these simple melodies ! Like rivers, 
they are " wandering at their own sweet will " through many 
lands ; and, like winds of balm, they are sweetening the very 
air of the world ! Listen to yonder solitary Lowland lass, 
singing in the harvest-field! (it is long since Wordsworth heard 
her Highland compeer, and complained — " Will no one tell 
me what she sings ? ") ; you can tell what she is singing — it is 
one of the songs of Burns, perhaps his " Lea-rig." Hear 
yonder ploughman " crooning " to himself, as he draws his 
straight, clear furrow ! — the song is Burns' " Caledonia ; " and as 
he sings, you see the sentiment in his kindling eye, " Burns 
v.'as once a ploughman like myself." From the city loomshop, 
at the hour of dawn, you hear a loud, cheerful chant ; you 
hearken, and find it to be, " My Heart's in the Highlands, 
my Heart is not here." From the giddy summit of a rising 
millstalk there descends a voice ; it is a mason-lad singing 
Burns' " Farewell to St James' Lodge " — 

" Adieu, a heart-warm, fond adieu, 
Dear brothers of the mystic tie." 

You — a Scotchman — are pacing in a melancholy vein, tliink- 



ing perhaps of home, the streets of a London suburb, in an 
autumn eve, when, hark ! a strain of dulcet melody from a 
female voice, mingling with the thrilling notes of a harp or 
piano ; it is an English lady, setting " Highland Mary " to the 
exquisite modulations of her Southland tongue. How often, 
of late, under the frowning battlements of Sebastopol, have 
little clubs of true-hearted and brave Scotchmen sung to- 
gether, and felt the trumpet-like inspiration of " Scots wha 
hae wi' Wallace bled," — words which we have heard an 
O'Connell, too, in the very pride of his triumph quote, and 
by quoting send an electric shock to the hearts of thirty thou- 
sand Scotchmen, assembled within sight of Burns' Monument 
on the Calton Hill! A Perthshire gentleman is walking 
through the twilight streets of Paris ; what strange, sweet, yet 
old familiar sound is that which crosses suddenly his ear, and 
brings tears into his eyes ? it is the voice of two Scottish 
orphan children singing the " Birks of Aberfeldy." And 
what festive company of the Scotch, met in the beginning of 
each year, whether in " Caledonia " herself, or in the back- 
woods of America, or under the Southern Cross of Australia, 
can part without " Auld Lang Sjne? " nay, did not the noble 
Robert Moffat teach the tune of that matchless melody to the 
Hottentots themselves, and sing it with them for long hours 
under the soft bright moon of an African night 1 " That is 
true fame," said Coleridge, when he saw a copy of Thom- 
son's " Seasons " lying on a window in a wayside inn ; but 
surely the expression may be more appropriately applied to 
the far more widely circulated and warmly cherished songs of 
our great national Bard. 

Would, we have often breathed the wish, that this Poet 
could look up from his gi-ave and witness the estimation in 
which his genius is now held ! In this case, he would not 
turn to the monuments that perpetuate more, perhaps, the 
pride of their founders than his memory, nor to the many 
splendid editions of his works, far less to the clubs and assem- 
blies who meet on the day of his birth ; but the sound of his 
immortal songs echoing from bank to brae, from town to farm, 
of his beloved land, would be a welcome music in his ear ; 


and he would rejoice the more to find, that while the unworthy 
otfspringof his Muse have, in a great measure, ceased to circulate, 
his '' Mary in Heaven," his " Man's a Man for a' That," and 
his " Poor and Honest Sodger," continue, as he would say, to 
"beet" the " weel-placed lowe of virtuous love," to stir the 
blood of manly enthusiasm and enterprise, and to increase that 
glow of patriotic emotion, which can, upon occasion, teach 
Britons to front the dangers, make light of the privations, and 
flourish amidst the very horrors of war. 

Apart from the popularity of his songs, 4heir_artistic -«ierife 
is gi-eat. The best of them are beautiful poems. And even 
in the worst and feeblest, there are rarely wanting little delicate 
traits, and stray images, or touches of tenderness, which redeem 
the surrounding barrenness ; and you think of one of those 
Scotch moors, where the desolation is relieved by a single 
sparkling well, or by a clump of yellow gorse, or by the green 
margin of a stream finding its stealthy way through the 
wilderness. In all of them we find the genuine spirit of the 
lyric Muse, which is, and ought to be, ever in extremes : its 
joy, rapture — its grief, despair — its love, agony — its admiration, 
enthusiasm — its tenderness, passion — its words, oaths ; and yet 
the language used by which is generally as simple as it is 
strong. Some individual songs, as we have said, such as the 
" Gloomy AVinter " of Tannahill ; " He 's owre the Hills that 
I lo'e weel," and other of Lady Nairn's delightful ditties ; the 
" Jock of Hazeldean," and " March, march, Ettrick and 
Teviotdale," of Scott ; William Miller's " Wee Willie Win- 
kle;" Robert Gilfillan's "Why did I leave my Hame?" 
Hogg's " Kye come Hame ; " Skinner's " Ewie wi' the 
Crookit Horn," and many more by various authors, may be 
quite equal to any of ]5urns', but taking his songs as a whole, 
they are far finer, and are so, not merely because his mind was 
incomparably stronger than that of all these, save Scott, but 
because his temperament was more lyrical, and his blood 
seven times hotter than theirs. Our author was emphatically 
a hurning man; it was said of him, that there was some dan- 
ger if you touched his hand of having yours set on fire ; and 
this peculiar warmth, which became the ruin of the man, was 


the power of the song-writer and the poet. And although 
beautiful and melting are many of the Irish melodies by 
Moore, they are not to be named in natural grace, in bird-like 
music, in energy, humour, or pathos, with the songs of Burns, 
which are only to be equalled by the Border ballads, and the 
other early songs of Scotland. Not the least remarkable of 
their characteristics is their infinite variety of subj^ect, and of 
mood. The Avhole heart of Scottish life is reflected in them, 
as well as the poet's own entire history. Scottish love and 
courtship, domestic felicity and infelicity, jealousies and rival- 
ships, humours, eccentricities, and sorrows, virtues and vices, 
loyalty to King George, and loyalty to King James, the 
scenery of both Higlilands and Lowlands, all the seasons of 
the year, and all the divisions of the day, the joys which sur- 
round the cradle, the mirth which rings around the marriage, 
and the grief that weeps by the deathbed and the grave, 
beauty and deformity, the hopes, disappointments, raptures, 
and despairs of liis own bosom, are all included in the Shaks- 
pearean songs of Burns, who has, in these more than in any 
of his writings, discovered the vast width of his sympathies. 
And although it is, we fear, too true that he has descended 
in some of his writings to the very depth of human depravity 
in search of subjects for his Muse, that, unfortunate and cul- 
pable though it was, arose rather perhaps from a wayward 
desire to prove the universality of his genius, than from any 
inherent love for pollution. At all events, the wit and humour 
he is said to have extracted from such themes did demon- 
strate his power, as much as its perversion. On this deplorable 
passage of his literary history, howevei*, we hasten to drop the 
veil, and to say, Premat alta Nox. 

His letters and little prose productions demand a brief con- 
sideration. They discover, as well as his poems, gigantic 
powers, but powers working with rude and imperfect materials. 
A brawny countryman at the plough looks, somehow, better 
th;in when wielding the " thresher's weary flingin'-tree." , 
Burns, in his poems, uses tlie plough ; in his prose-writings, 
a clumsy flail, and often makes more noise than progress. 
They show at once the inequality and the strength of his 


genius. Both in poetry and in prose, with all his originality, 
he worked after models ; but while in poetry he had good 
models, such as Eamsay, Fergusson, and the old ballads of 
Scotland, in letter-writing he had only the artificial letters of 
Pope, Mrs Howe, and the rest which are to be found in the 
"Complete Letter-writer." It had been otherwise had he 
lived after the appearance of Cowper's letters, with their ex- 
quisite ease, and good sense in its utterance so gracefully 
negligent. Some of his epistles, too, were written dovm to 
the taste of his correspondents; others, as we have hinted 
above, were written in a spirit of irony and contempt for them ; 
not a few were dashed off by the writer in a state of semi- 
intoxication, on the tops of deal tables, and chests of drawers, 
and without the slightest thought of publication ; and the 
entire series to Clarinda was inspired by spurious and silly 
passion. In the worst of these letters, however, we discern, 
here and there, the hand of a master, and amidst flighty non- 
sense, forced eloquence, and unsuccessful attempts at wit, 
occur strong apothegmatic remarks, keen though cursory dis- 
sections of character, and occasional felicities of fancy. The 
best, on the other hand, for nerve, vivacity, sincerity, and elo- 
quent enthusiasm, rank with the highest specimens of the art ; 
and although the letters of Gray, Cowper, and Byron are, as 
wholes, superior, they contain no single letters equal to some 
in Burns. The general inferiority of these productions seems 
partly to have arisen from their author confounding the style 
of the epistle with that of the epigram. A good many of 
them, too, are love-letters ; and when were love-letters, from 
the days of Doddridge downwards, however interesting to the 
parties, aught but impertinences, nay, nuisances, when thrust 
before the public? 

In taking a comprehensive view of Burns' genius, it is 
necessary to recur to his conversation, wliich, by universal 
consent, was the truest reflection of his powers. Sterling, 
we think, it is who says, " No man was ever so born a poet 
but that he required to be regenerated into a poetic artist." 
It is still more certain, that no man was ever so born a con- 
verser, but that he required to be regenerated into a conver- 


satioiifil artist. Fluency is a gift, but conversation, in the 
true sense of that term, is more an acquirement. Johnson 
naturally was fluent enough, but his temperament would often 
have inclined him to be sullenly-silent, were it not that he 
had determined to talk, and always, if possible, to talk his 
best. Burke, too, seems resolutely to have set himself to 
practise conversation. And Burns, in his intercourse with 
his father and brother, in his disputes with the Calvinists of 
the west, and in his Tarbolton Debating Societies, was culti- 
vating with the greatest care the powers of talk by which he 
was afterwards to astonish Edinburgh. He had studied, it is 
said, even emphasis and modulation of voice. His conversa- 
tion was not, as many seem to imagine, that of a mere rough, 
rich mind, crumbling down in unconscious utterance of his 
unpolished thoughts and untutored feelings ; he was at once a 
consummate master of talk as an art, and a man of impetuous 
impulse and teeming genius. Nor was he a machine of words, 
conversing at all times with the same rapidity. He was often 
and for long evenings silent, leaning his brow on his hand, 
and with his thoughts far, far away in memory, or remorse, or 
love, from the societies around him ; but at other times, when 
the spirit of social glee came upon him, or when the fascina- 
tion of female eyes excited him, or when he felt himself among 
his rivals in conversational power, or when the sight of som;i 
pompous charlatan or haughty lordling excited his displea- 
sure, he became like a man inspired, and threw out, partly 
with his eyes and partly with his lips, beautiful, or quaint, or 
sententious, or wild, or humorous, or pathetic thoughts, in a 
torrent, uttered in words at once stronger and more select than 
would have occurred to him at his desk, or anywhere, if in a 
less excited state, pointed by a manly yet artistically-managed 
elocution, and diversified by anecdotes, compliments, repartees, 
and poetic quotations. Johnson's famous saying about a 
person meeting Burke under a shed to shun a shower, and 
pronouncing him, from his conversation, an extraordinary 
man, would perhaps scarcely apply to Burns ; for, very pro- 
bably, under the shed Burns would have remained silent, 
imless he found his chance companion congenial ; but no one 


could have spent a niglit with him, in his happier moods, 
without "being astonished at the versatility, the naturalness, 
and the strength of his talent and genius. Latterly, his 
deepening dissipation, and the fierce exasperation of his mind, 
rendered bis conversation less delightful, while probably in- 
creasing its power. Professor Walker has told us so after his 
own fashion, and we have met individuals who had known 
Bui-ns in his later days, and who gave us the same impres- 
sion. He who in the morning was inditing his sweet songs, 
and sending them off every post to G. Thomson, in the even- 
ings was throwing out, too frequently, wild vituperations, 
curses loud and deep, or extempore verses more remarkable 
for point than purity, blended with fine pathetic touches, 
bursts of eloquence, and flashes of wit — in truth, a strange 
compost of filth and fire. All this arose less from inclination 
than fi:om despair. It was that corruptio optirni which is ever 
pessuma. The noble vessel — shall we say ? — was sinking, flame 
was bursting from every shot-hole, its guns were going off, 
and it became dangerous to approach it. Xow, however, look- 
ing at it from a safe distance, Ave are free to acknowledge its 
natural nobility, while we deplore its early and most melan- 
choly doom. 

We cannot conclude this essay, in which hitherto we have 
spoken chiefly of Barns' poetical merits, witliout saying a few 
words about his defects. Most of these, indeed, sprung from 
his imperfect culture and unfortunate circumstances. We have 
alluded already to his frequent coarseness. This is most princi- 
pally manifest in his satires and his epigrams, in many of which 
there is too much of that " tinkler jaw " which he less happily 
ascribes to Fox. His politics, Blair truly said, always 
'' smell of the smithy." (AVe may inform our English readers 
that the smithy, or smith's shop, used always to be the em- 
porium of news in old Scottish villages, and that there, 
ploughmen, assembling and discussing the politics of the day, 
used to speak familiarly of Fox as " Charlie," Pitt as 
" Willie," the King as " Geordie," &c.) His wit often smacks 
of the close-heads and weaver-shops; his amatory effusions 
are sometimes redolent of the penny-wedding ; and in the 



clink of many of his verses you hear the " clatter of the gill- 
stoup." This was partly inevitable, and has in some measure, 
too, contributed to his Scottish popularity ; for all nations love 
"to see the meanest details of their everyday life represented in 
the idealising light of poetry. But Burns' sympathy with 
such subjects was too strong, and his coarseness sometimes 
sinks into vulgarity. Critics are generally agreed in denying 
him much constructive power, although the " Jolly Beggars " 
seems to contravene their decision, being eminently dramatic, 
and possessing artistic unity. He had projected a drama on 
the subject of Robert Bruce; and " Scots wha hae" proves, 
as Lockhart says, what he might have made of it, so far as 
spirit and the power of sprinkling fine songs through it were 
concerned ; but whether he would have been capable of the 
continuous effort necessary to bring out the hero's character 
as a whole, or to develop the manners of the period, or to 
blend harmoniously the humorous and the sublime, we seri- 
ously doubt. It probably would have been (as indeed most 
Scotch dramas have been, save " Douglas " and " The Gentle 
Shepherd ") a brilliant failure. Burns was destined, and per- 
haps best qualified, not to write an epic or dramatic poem, but 
to be the most gifted lyrical writer of his country. 

The great objection to his poetry is, after all, the same 
which we brought against his life — it has no pervading pur- 
pose, and no consecrating moral. It is neither entirely of the 
" earth, earthy," nor is it thoroughly ethereal. The author's 
mind acts simply as a mirror — reflecting, now the grossest, and 
now the most beautiful objects — now the dunghill before his 
own door, and now the evening star of his Mary in the orange 
west — now the petty Pandemonium of a " Poosie Nansie's," 
and now the little Heaven of a pious rustic's fireside. Such 
divers objects are all shown with the same clearness, the same 
ease, and nearly the same amount of pleasure. Nay, we 
sometimes fancy that this living mirror has more pleasure in 
catching the features of moral deformity, than in preserving 
the lineaments of moral beauty and worth, as it does certainly 
seem more at home when actins; as the little lookin2:-a:lass in 
the cottages of the poor, than as the brilliant pier-glass in the 


drawing-rooms of the noble. No such clear and simple mind- 
mirror has the world seen since Shakspeare, although we must 
grant, that in point of the purity of the objects reflected, as well 
as in their number, not to speak of creative imagination, or 
subtle intellect, the Scotch is many degrees inferior to the 
English poet. 

We close this estimate of Burns, by simply expressing 
again feelings of deepest sorrow and pitying love. We have 
neither, on the one hand, been his unprincipled apologist, nor 
have we sought, on the other, coldly to trample on his sepul- 
chre. We have Avished to blend pity and blame, in severe 
and equal proportions, as the true libation over his dust. And 
we have now, we trust, given ample reason to induce our 
readers to believe that our feelings to the man, which are 
those of sympathy and compassion, are exchanged for enthu- 
siasm whenever we contemplate the productions of the poet. 




To Mr Cunningham .... 1 

Oh, Bonnie was yon Rosj' Brier 2 

-To Chloris 3 

Forlorn, my Love, no comfort 

near 4 

Last May a Braw Wooer ... i 

Fragment 6 

Hey for the Lass wi' a Tocher . 6 

Jessy 7 

Fairest Maid on Devon Banks . 8 

The Birks of Aberfeldy ... 8 
Stay, my Charmer, can you leave 

me? 9 

Strathallan's Lament .... 10 
Tiie Young Highland Rover . 11 
Raving Winds around her blow- 
ing .• 11 

Musing on the Roaring Ocean J. 12 

Blithe was She 13 

A Rose-bud by my Early Walk ^ 14 

Braving angry Winter's Storms 15 

Tibbie, I hae seen the Day . . 15 

Farewell to Clarinda *. . . , 17 

The Day Returns 17 

Tlie Lazy Mist 18 

Oh, were I on Pernassus' Hill . 18 

Of a' the Airts 19 

I'he Braes o' Ballochmyle . . 20 

Willie Brew'd a Teck o' Maut . 21 

I Gaed a Waefu' Gate Yestreen . 22 

The Banks of Nith 22 

.John Anderson, my Jo . . . 23 

Tarn Glen 24 

Meikle Thinks my Love ... 25 

Gane is the Day 2G 


What can a Young Lassie . . 26 

The Bonnie AYee Thing ... 27 

Oh, Ane-an-Twenty, Tarn . . 27 

Bess and her Spinning Wheel . 28 

The Country Lassie .... 29 

]\Iy Bonnie Mary 31 

Inscription on the Tomb of Fer- 

gusson 31 

Fragment, Inscribed to the 

Right Hon. C. J. Fox ... 32 
Prologue spoken at the Theatre, 

Dumfries . 33 

Address, spoken by Miss Fonte- 

nelle on her Benefit-night . 35 

The Rights of Woman ... 36 

From Dr Blacklock to Burns . 37 
To Dr Blacklock, in Answer to 

the above 39 

There '11 Never be Peace ... 41 

The Chevalier's Lament ... 42 

Song of Death 42 

Naebody 43 

To Mary in Heaven .... 44 • 
Lines on Meeting with Basil, 

Lord Daer 45 

On a Young Lady 46 

Castle-Gordon 47 

Elegy on the late Miss Burnet 

of Monboddo 48 

Fair Eliza 49 

Oh, Luve will venture in . . 50 

The Batiks o' Doon .... 51 

Sic a Wife as Willie had ... 52 

Gloomy Deccinher 53 

Wilt Thou be my Dearie ? . . 54 






>' ,€he 's Fair and Fause .... 54 

V Afton Water 55 

The Smiling Spring . . . = 56 

The Galhiut Weaver .... 57 

Louis, what Reck I by Thee? . 57 

Somebody 58 

The Bonnie Lass o' Ballochmyle 58 

Tiie Lovely Lass of Inverness . 60 

May, thy Morn 61 

Oh, wat ye AVha 's in yon Town 61 

A Red, Red Rose 63 

A Vision 63 

Address to Mr Wm. Tytler . . 64 

Caledonia 66 

Poem, written to a Gentleman 
who had sent him a News- 
paper 68 

Poem on Pastoral Poetry ... 69 
On the Battle of Sheriff-Muir . 71 
Sketch : New-year's Day . . 73 
Extempore on the late Mr Wil- 
liam Smellie 75 

Poetical Inscription for an Altar 

to Independence 75 

Sonnet, on the Death of Robert 

Riddel 76 

Monody, on a Lady famed for 

her Caprice 76 

Epistle from Esopns to Maria . 77 
Letter to John Gondie, Kilmar- 
nock 80 

The Inventory 81 

The Highland Lassie .... 83 
Impromptu, on Mrs Riddel's 

Birthday 85 

Oh, wert Thou in the Cauld 

Blast! 85 

To a Young Lady ..... 86 
Sonnet, written on Hearing a 
Thrush sing in a Morning 

Walk 87 

Extempore to Mr Syme ... 87 
To Mr S3-me, with a Present of 

a Dozen of Porter .... 88 

The Dumfries Volunteers ... 88 
Poem, Addressed to Mr Mitchell, 

Collector of Excise, Dumfries 89 
Lines sent to a Gentleman whom 

he had Offended 90 

Poem on Life 91 

Address to the Toothache . . 92 

Oh, wha is She that Loes me? . 94 

Jockey 's ta'en the Parting Kiss - 95 

My Peggy's Face 95 

Ken ye ought o' Captain Grose ? 96 

On Sensibility 97 

A Verse, Composed and Repeated 

by Burns to the Master of a 

House in the Highlands . . 98 

Farewell to Ayrshire .... 98 
Fragment of an Ode on Prince 

Charles Edward's Birthday . 99 

Remorse 100 

Epitaph on a Friend .... 101 

Grace before Meat 101 

Grace after Meat 102 

Grace spoken at the Table of the 

Earl of Selkirk 102 

Epistle to Major W. Logan . . 102 

Third Epistle to .J. Lapraik . . 105 

To the Reverend John M'Math . 107 

Holy Willie's Prayer . . . . Ill 

Epitaph on Holy Willie ... 1 14 

The Kirk's Alarm . . • . . 115 

The Holy Tulzie, or Twa Herds 118 

Epistle to William Creech . . 122 
To Gavin Hamilton, Esq., 

Mauchline 124 

To j\Ir M'Adam, of Craigen-Gil- 

lan 126 

To Captain Riddel, Glenriddei . 127 

To Terraughty, on his Birthday 127 
To a Lady, with a present of a 

Pair of Drinking Glasses . . 128 

Tragic Fragment 129 

The Vowels : a Tale .... 130 

Sketch, (W. Creech) • ._ . . 131 
An Extemporaneous Effusion on 

being appointed to the Excise 131 

Elegy on the Year 1788 . . . 132 

The Jolly Beggars: a Cantata . 133 

Willie Chalmers 145 

Verses to J. Rankine .... 147 
On Hearing that there was False- 
hood in the Rev. Dr Blair's 

very Looks 147 

Prologue, for Mr Sutherland's 

Benefit-night, Dumfries . . 148 
The Dean of Faculty .... 149 
Extempore in the Court of Ses- 
sion 151 

Address to General Dumourier . 152 
Election Ballads — 

Ballad 1 152 

Ballad II 156 

Ballad III 157 

Ballad IV 160 

Ballad V 162 

E[)istle from a Tailor .... 164 

Robert Burns' Answer . . . 166 

Liberty: a Fragment . . . 169 
Elegy on the Death of Robert 

Ruisseaux 169 

Epistle to Hugh Parker . . . 170 




The Guidwife of Wauchope- 
house to Robert Burns . . 172 

To the Guidwife of Wauchope- 
house 173 

Lament, written at a Time 
wheu the Poet was about to 
leave Scothiud 175 

Prologue, spoken by Mr Woods 
on his Benefit- niglit . . . 176 

The Poet's Welcome to his Ille- 
gitiiiiate Child 178 

Letter to James Tait, Glenconnar 179 

On the Death of a Favourite 
Child 181 

To the Right Honourable the 
Earl of Breadalbane . . . 182 

On the Death of the Late Lord 
President 184 

To John M'Murdo, Esq. ... 186 

Peg Nicholson 18G 

-^ The Henpecked Husband . . 187 

The Toast 187 

On Jessy Lewars' Sickness . . 187 

Ou the Recovery of Jessy Lewars 188 

A Toast 188 

Jessy Lewars 188 

On seeing the Beautiful Seat of 
Lord Galloway 189 

On the Same 189 

On the Same 189 

To the Same, on the Author 
being threatened with his Re- 
sentment 190 

Verses written under the Portrait 
of Fergusson, the Poet . . 190 

Verses written on a Window of 
the Lin at Carron .... 190 

Verses written on the Blank Leaf 
of a Copy of his Poems . . 191 

Verses addressed to the Landlady 
of the Inn at Roslin . . . 191 

Addressed to a Gentleman at 
Table 191 

Lines written under the Portrait 
of the celebrated Miss Burns . 192 

Lines written on a Pew in the 
Kirk of Lajulu^ton, in Cly- 
desdale . r ..... 192 

Lines written on a Bank Note . 192 

To a Medical Gentleman, invit- 
ing him to attend a Masonic 
Anniversary Jleeting . . . 193 

Lines written on a Window (if 
tlic Globe Tavern, Di'intVics . 193 

Reply to a Gentleman, who asked 
if he would not like to be a 
Soldier 194 


The Creed of Poverty .... 194 
On being asked why God had 
made Miss Davies so Little 

and Mrs so Large . . 194 

Lines written on a Pane of 

Glass 195 

Lines on Stirling 195 

Reply to a Clergyman, who 
wrote a Poetical Philippic 
against the foregoing lines on 

Stiriing 196 

Lines written on a Window, at 
the King's Arms' Tavern, 

Dumfries 196 

Lines written and presented to 

Mrs Kemble 196 

Lines written Extempore in a 
Lady's Pocket-book ... 196 
^Xines written by Burns while on 

his Death-bed 197 

The Book- worms 197 

The Solemn League and Cove- 
nant 197 

The True Loyal Natives , . . 197 
Verses addressed to J. Rankine 198 
On Robert Riddel, Esq. ... 198 
Liscription on a Goblet . . . 198 

Epigrams — 

On an Imaginary Slight at 

the Inn 199 

On Andrew Turner .... 199 
On a Henpecked Country 

Squire 199 

Another 200 

On Captain Francis Grose, the 

celebrated Antiquarian . . 200 
On Eiphinstone's Translation 

of Martial's Epigrams . . 200 
On Miss J. Scott, of Ayr . , 200 


On Mr W. Cruikshanks . . 201 
On a Wag in Mauchline . . 201 
On Jolin Dove, Innkeeper, 

Mauchline 201 

On a Henpecked Country 

Squire 202 

On a Sciioolmaster in Clcish 

Parisli, Fifeshire .... 202 
On a Person Nicknamed the 

JIarqnis, who (le^ired Burns 

to wi ite an Epitaph for him 202 

On Walter S .... 202 

On Joim Bushby, Writer, 

Dumfries 202 

On William Nicol . . . 203 





On Grizel Grim 203 

On W .... 203 

On the Same 203 

On Gabriel Richardson, 

Brewer, Dumfries . . . 203 

On tlie Poet's Daughter . . 203 
On the Death of a Lapdog 

named Echo 20i 

On Sir David Maxwell of 

Cardoness 20-1 

On a Suicide -204 

The Tither Morn 205 

Oh, saw ye my Dearie? . . . 206 

Lovely Polly Stewart .... 207 

The Highland Laddie .... 207 

Lovely Davies 208 

Nithsdale's Welcome Hame . . 209 

As I was a- wandering . . . 210 

It is na, Jean, thy Bonnie Face 211 

The Lass of Ecclefechan . . . 211 
Merry hae I been Teethin' a 

Heckle 212 

Frae the Friends and Land I Love 213 

Our Thrissles Flourish'd . . . 21:^ 

Where hae ye been? . . . . 214 

Oh, Gude Ale comes ... 215 

Simmer 's a Pleasant Time . . 215 

Jamie, come Try Me .... 216 

Robin Siiure in Hairst . . . 217 

There 's News, Lasses, News . 217 

Oh, that I had ne'er been Married 218 

Could Aught of Song . ... 218 

Here 's to thy Health . ... 219 

Oil, Steer her up 220 

Oh, lay thy Loof in mine. Lass . 221 
Oh, wha will to Saint Stephen's 

House? 221 

Cauld is the E'ening Blast . . 224 

There was a Bonnie Lass . . 224 
Oh, Mally's Meek, Mally 's 

Sweet 225 

Lady Maiy Ann 225 

My Lady's Gown, there 's Gairs 

upon't 227 

A Motlier's Lament for the 

Death of her Son .... 228 

Delia 228 

Sweet closes the Evening . . 229 

My Heart was Ance .... 230 

There was a Lass 231 

Theniel Menzies' Bonnie Mary . 232 

Macpherson's Farewell . . . 233 

Amang the Trees 234 

The Tailor 234 

My Jean 235 


My Harrv was a Gaihmt Gay . 235 

I '11 aye Ca' in by Yon Town . 236 

The Gowden Locks of Anna . 237 

The Exciseman 238 

Weary fa' you, Duncan Gray . 238 

Up in the Jlorning Early . . 239 

My Hoggie -. 240 

The Carles of Dysart . , . . 240 

My Love she 's but a Lassie yet 241 
Here 's a Health to Tliem that 's 

Awa' 242 

The Bonnie Blink o' Mary's E'e 243 

Ae Fond Kiss 244 

How can I be Blithe and Glad . 245 

Out over the Forth .... 246 

My Collier Laddie 246 

Lady Onlie 247 

The Laddies by the Banks o' 

Nith 248 

The Blude-Red Rose at Yule may 

Blaw 249 

Come Boat me o'er to Charlie . 250 

Eppie Adair 250 

Coming through the Rye . . 251 

Had I theAVyte? 252 

First when Maggy was my Care, 253 

The Bairns Gat Out .... 254 

Her Flowing Locks .... 254 

Young Jockey 255 

Oh, aye my Wife she Dang me 255 

Hunting Song 256 

Young Peggy "257 

Mary 258 

Bonnie Peggy Alison .... 259 

On Cessnock Banks .... 259 

Wae is my Heart 261 

Tlifi Plougliman 262 

To thee, Loved Nith .... 263 

Cock up your Beaver .... 263 

My Heart 's in the Highlands . 264 

I am my Mammy's ae Bairn . 265 

Landlady, count the Lawin' . 265 

The weary Pnnd o' Tow . . . 266 

Oh, Whare did ye Get? . . . 267 

Wha is that at my Bower Door? 268 

The Rantin' Dog the Duddie o't 269 

A Fragment 270 

Robin 270 

Oh, Leave Novels 271 

The Mauchline Belles .... 272 

A Bottle and an Honest Friend 272 

Lines on a Ploughman . . . 273 

Yon AVild Mossy Mountains . . 273 

Her Daddie Forbade .... 275 

Hey, the Dusty Miller ... 275 

The Joyful Widower .... 276 

Sae Far Away 277 




The Cardin' o't _. 277 

Touns: Jamie, pride of a' the plain 278 

There'^'s a Youth in this City . 278 

Rallin', Roarin' Willie ... 279 

Here 's his Health in Water . . 280 

The Carle of Kelly bum Braes . 281 

Ye .Jacobites by Name . • . 283 

When Rosy May 284 

Bannocks o' Barley .... 285 

HeeBalou 285 

Bonnie Peg ....... 286 

Wee Willie Gray 286 

Beware o' Bonnie Ann . . . 287 

Montgomery's Peggy . . . . 287 
Yerses on the Destruction of the 

Woods near Drumlanrig . . 288 

On Tarn the Chanman ... 289 

ToClarinda. .' 290 

Bra w Lads of Gala Water . . 291 

Come Rede Me, Dame ... 291 

The Tree of Liberty .... 292 

Happy Friendship 295 

Stanzas on the Duke of Queens- 

berrv 296 

To a Kiss 296 

I Dream'd I Lav 297 

The Discreet Hmt 297 

iMy Father was a Farmer . . 298 

To Mr .John Kennedy ... 300 

Oh, Kenmure's on and awa' . 301 

Handsome Nell 302 

Luckless Fortune 303 


Tibbie Dunbar 304 

Oh, whv the Deuce should I 

Repine? 304 

To tiie Owl 305 

Sweetest May 306 

On seeing Miss Fontenelle in a 

Favourite Character . . . 306 
The Black-Headed Eagle: a 

Fragment 308 

On the Deatli of Sir James 

Hunter Blair 308 

Verses to my Bed 310 

To Mrs C , on receiving a 

Work of Hannah More's . . 311 
When first I came to Stewart 

Kyle 311 

On 312 

The Banks o' Doou .... 312 

Ye hae Lien a' Wrang, La.ssie . 313 
On an Evening View of the 

Ruins of LincTuden Abbey . 314 

Damon and Sylvia .... 315 

Ah, Chloris 315 

As dowu the Burn . . . . 316 

Epitaph on Mr Burton . . . 316 

Tlie Highland Widow's Lament 316 

Oh, Leeze me on my Wee Thing 318 

The Captain's Lady .... 318 

When I think on the Happy Days 319 

Epistle to Jolin Tavlor ... 319 

The Sons of Old Rillie . . . 320 

Shelah O'Neil 320 

Lndex of Poems 325 

Index of Songs . j 329 

Index of First Lines 333 

Index to First Lines of Songs .\ltered by Burns 343 




1 NoAV spring has clad the grove in green, 

And strew'd the lea wi' flowers ; 
The fiirrow'd, waving corn is seen 

Rejoice in fostering showers ; 
While ilka thing in nature join 

Their sorrows to forego, 
Oh, why thus all alone are miao 

The weary steps of woe ! 

2 The trout within yon wimpling burn 

Glides swift — a silver dart ; 
And safe beneath the shady thorn 

Defies the anirler's art : 
My life was ance that careless stream, 

That wanton trout was I ; 
But love, wi' unrelenting beam. 

Has scorch'd my fountains dry. 

3 The little floweret's peaceful lot. 

In yonder cliff that grows, 
Whicli, save the linnet's flight, I wot, 

Nae ruder visit knows, 
Was mine ; till love has o'er me past, 

And blighted a' ray bloom, 
And now beneath the witliering blast 

My youth and joy consume. 


^2 burns' poems. 

4 The waken'd laverock warbling springs, 

And climbs the early sky, 
Winnowing blithe her dewy wings 

In niorning's rosy eye : 
As little reck'd I sorrow's power, 

Until the flowery snare 
0' witching love, in luckless hour. 

Made me the thrall o' care. 

5 Oh, had my fate been Greenland snows, 

Or Afric's burning zone, 
Wi' man and nature leagued my foes. 

So Peggy ne'er I 'd known ! 
The wretch whase doom is, ' Hope nae mair,' 

What tongue his woes can tell ! 
Within whase bosom, save despair, 

Nae kinder spirits dwell. 


1 Oh, bonnie was yon rosy brier, 

That blooms sae far frae haunt o' man ; 
And bonnie she, and ah ! how dear ! 
It shaded frae the e'enin' sun. 

2 Yon rosebuds in the morning dew, 

IIow pure amang the leaves sae green ! 
But purer was the lover's vow 

They witness'd in their shade yestreen. 

3 All in its rude and prickly bower. 

That crimson rose, how sw^eet and fair ! 
But love is far a sweeter flower 
Amid life's thorny path o' care. 


4 The pathless wild and wimpling burn, 
Wi' Chloris in my arms, be mine ; 
And I the \Yorld, nor wish, nor scorn. 
Its joys and griefs alike resign. 


1 Tis Friendship's pledge, mj young, fair friend, 
Nor thou the gift refuse. 
Nor with unwilling ear attend 
The moralisino; Muse. 


2 Since thou, in all thy youth and charms. 

Must bid the world adieu, 
(A world 'gainst peace in constant arms) 
To join the friendly few : 

3 Since, thy gay morn of life o'ercast, 

Chill came the tempest's lower ; 
(And ne'er misfortune's eastern blast 
Did nip a fairer flower :) 

4 Since life's gay scenes must charm no more, 

Still much is left behind ; 
Still nobler wealth hast thou in store- — 
The comforts of the mind ! 

5 Thine is the self-approving glow, 

On conscious honour's part ; 
And, dearest gift of Heaven belovv-, 
Thine Friendship's truest heart. 

6 The joys refined of sense and taste,, 

With everv Muse to rove : 
And doubly were the poet blest 
These joys could he imj)rovc. 

burns' poems. 

Tune — ' Let me in this ae Night.' 

1 FoRLOEN, mj love, no comfort near, 
Far, far from thee, I wander here ; 
Far, far from thee, the fate severe 

At which I most repine, love. 


Oh, wert thou, love, but near me ; 
But near, near, near me ; 
How kindly thou wouldst cheer me, 
And mingle sighs with mine, love. 

2 Around me scowls a wintry sky. 
That blasts each bud of hope and joy ; 
And shelter, shade, nor home have I, 

Save in those arms of thine, love. 


Cold, alter'd friendship's cruel part, 
To poison fortune's ruthless dart — 
Let me not break thy faithful heart, 
And say that fate is mine, love. 

4 But dreary though the moments fleet. 
Oh, let me think we yet shall meet ! 
That only ray of solace sweet 
Can on thy Chloris shine, love. 


Tune — ' The Lothian Lassie! 

1 Last May a braw wooer cam down the lang glen, 
And sair wi' his love he did deave me ; 


I said there was naethino; I hated like men — 
The deuce gae wi 'm, to believe me, believe me ; 
The deuce gae wi 'm, to believe me ! 

2 He spak o' the darts in my bonnie black e'en, 

And vow'd for my love he was dying ; 
I said he might die when he liked, for Jean — 
The Lord forgie me for lying, for lying ; 
The Lord forgie me for lying ! 

3 A weel-stocked mailen — himsel' for the laird— 

And marriage aff-hand, were his proffers : 
I never loot on that I kenn'd it, or cared, 

But thought I might hae waur offers, waur offers ; 
But thought I midit hae waur offers. 

4 But what wad ye think ? — in a fortnight or less, 

The Diel tak his taste to gae near her ! 
He up the lang loan to my black cousin Bess, 

Guess ye how, the jaud ! I could bear her, could 

bear her ; 
Guess ye how, the jaud ! I could boar her. 

5 But a' the neist week as I fretted wi' care, 

I gaed to the tryste o' Dalgarnock,^ 
And wha but my fine fickle lover was there ■ 
I glower'd as 1 'd seen a warlock, a warlock ; 
I fflower'd as I 'd seen a warlock. 


G But owre my left shouther 1 gae him a blink, 
Lest neibours might say I was saucy ; 
My wooer he caper'd as he 'd been in drink, 
And vow'd I was his dear lassie, dear lassie ; 
And vow'd I was his dear lassie. 

' ' Dnlgaraock : ' a romantic spot with a riiiiiid cliiircii, on tlie banks of the Nitli. 

burns' poems. 

7 I spier'd for my cousin, fu' coutliy and sweet, 

Gin she had recover'd her hearin', 
And how mj auld shoon fitted her shachl't feet, 
But, Heavens ! how he fell a swearin', a swearin' 
But, Heavens I how he fell a swearin' ! 

8 He begged, for Gudesake ! I wad be his wife. 

Or else I wad kill him wi' sorrow : 
So e'en to preserve the poor body in life, 

I think I maun wed him to-morrow, to-morrow ; 
I think I maun wed him to-morrow. 


Tune — ' The Caledonian Hunt's Delight.' 

1 Why, why tell thy lover, 

Bliss he never must enjoy ? 
Why, why undeceive him, 

And give all his hopes the lie 1 

2 Oh why, while fancy, raptured, slumbers, 

Chloris, Chloris all the theme — 
Why, why wouldst thou, cruel, 
Wake thy lover from his dream '? 


Tune — ' Balinamona ora! 

1 Awa' wi' your witchcaft o' beauty's alarms, 
The slender bit beauty you grasp in your arms ! 
Oh, gie me the lass that has acres o' charms, 
Oh, gie me the lass wi' the weel-stockit farms. 



Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher, 
Then hey for a lass \vi' a tocher ; 
Then hey for a lass wi' a tocher — 
The nice yellow guineas for me ! 

2 Your beauty 's a flower, in the morning that blows, 
And withers the faster, the faster it grows ; 

But the rapturous charm o' the bonnie green knowes, 
Ilk spring they 're new decked wi' bonnie white yowes. 

3 And e'en when this beauty your bosom has bless'd, 
The brightest o' beauty may cloy, when possess'd ; 
But the sweet yellow darlings wi' Geordie impress'd, 
The langer ye hae them — the mair they 're caress'd. 

Tune — ' Here's a health to them that's awa\' 


Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear ! 

Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear ! 

Thou art sweet as the smile when fond lovers meet, 

And soft as their parting tear, Jessy ! 

1 Although thou maun never be mine, 

Although even hope is denied ; 
'Tis sweeter for thee despairing. 

Than aught in the world beside, Jessy! 

2 I mourn through the gay, gaudy day, 

As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms ; 
But welcome the dream o' sweet slumber, 
For then I am lock'd in thy arms, Jessy! 

burns' poems. 

3 I guess by tlie dear angel smile, 
I guess by the love-rolling e'e ; 
But why urge the tender coufessiou, 

'Gainst fortune's fell cruel decree, Jessy! 


Tune — ' Piothemurchie' 


Fairest maid on Devon banks, 
Crystal Devon, winding Devon, 

Wilt tliou lay that frown aside. 

And smile as thou were wont to do ? 

1 Full well thou know'st I love thee dear, 
Couldst thou to malice lend an ear 1 
Oh, did not love exclaim, ' Forbear, 

Nor use a faithful lover so ! ' 

2 Then come, thou fairest of the fair. 
Those wonted smiles, oh, let me share ! 
And by thy beauteous self I swear, 

No love but thine my heart shall know ! 



Bonnie lassie, will ye go, 
Will ye go, will ye go ; 
Bonnie lassie, will ye go, 
To thebirksof Aberfeldy? 

' ' Birks : ' referring to the well-known beautiful falls of Moness, near Aber- 



1 Now simmer blinks on flowery braes, 
And o'er the crystal streamlet plays, 
Come, let us spend the lightsome days 

In the birks of Aberfeldy. 

2 While o'er their heads the hazels hing, 
The little birdies blithely sing. 

Or lightly flit on M'anton 
In the birks of Aberfeldy. 

3 The braes ascend like lofty wa's. 
The foaming stream deep-roaring fa's, 
O'erhuug wi' fragrant spreading shaws. 

The birks of Aberfeldy. 

4 The hoary cliS's are crown'd wi' flowers, 
White o'er the linns the burnie pours. 
And rising, weets wi' misty showers 

The birks of Aberfeldy. 

5 Let Fortune's gifts at random flee, 
They ne'er shall draw a wish frae me, 
Supremely blest wi' love and thee, 

In the birks of Aberfeldy. 


Tune — 'An Gille dubh ciar-dhuhh.' 

1 Stay, my charmer, can you leave me ? 
Cruel, cruel to deceive me ! 
Well you know how much you grieve mc ; 

Cruel charmer, can you go % 

Cruel charmer, can you go ? 

10 burns' poems. 

2 By my love so ill requited, 
By the faith you fondly plighted, 
By the pangs of lovers slighted. 

Do not, do not leave me so ! 

Do not, do not leave me so ! 


1 Thickest night, o'erhang my dwelling ! 

Howling tempests, o'er me rave ! 
Turbid torrents, wintry swelling. 
Still surround my lonely cave I 

2 Crystal streamlets, gently flowing, 

Busy haunts of base mankind, 
AVestern breezes, softly blowing, 
Suit not my distracted mind. 

3 In the cause of right engaged, 

Wrongs injurious to redress, 
Honour's war we strongly waged, 
But the Heavens denied success. 

4 Ruin's wheel has driven o'er us, 

Not a hope that dare attend ; 
The wide world is all before us — 
But a world without a friend ! 

1 i 

Stratluillan : ' was one of tlie followers of the young Chevalier, and is 
supposed in the song to be lying concealed in sonic cave of the Iligiilands, 
after the battle of CuUoden. 



Tune — ' Moi^ag.' 

Loud blaw the frosty breezes. 

The suaws the mountains cover ; 
Like winter on me seizes, 

Since mj young Highland rover 

Far wanders nations over. 
Where'er he go, where'er he stray, 

May Heaven be his warden : 
Return him safe to fair Stathspey, 

And bonnie Castle-Gordon ! 

1 The trees now naked groaning, 

Shall soon wi' leaves be hinging, 
The birdies dowie moaning, 

Shall a' be blithely singing. 

And every flower be springing. 
Sae I '11 rejoice the lee-lang day, 

When by his mighty warden 
My youth 's return'd to fair Strathspey, 

And bonnie Castle-Gordon ! 


Tune — ' M'Gregor of Ruaras Lament! 

1 Raving winds around her blowing, 
Yellow leaves the woodlands strewing, 
By a river hoarsely roaring, 
Isabella stray'd deploring — 

' ' The young Highland Rover : ' is supposed to be the young Chevalier, 
Prince Charles Edward.—^ This was written in compliment to Miss Macleod, 
afterwards Mrs Ross, a very great friend of the poet. It alluded to tiie death 
of her -sister and her sister's husband. 

12 burns' poems. 

' Farewell, hours that late did measure 
Sunshine days of joj and pleasure ; 
Hail, thou gloomy night of sorrow, 
Cheerless night that knows no morrow ! 

2 ' O'er the past too fondlj wandering, 
On tlie hopeless future pondering ; 
Chilly grief my life-blood freezes. 
Fell despair my fancy seizes. 
Life, thou soul of every blessing, 
Load to misery most distressing, 
Oh, how gladly I'd resign thee. 
And to dark oblivion join thee ! ' 

Tune — ' Druimion DuhL' 

1 Musing on the roaring ocean, 

Which divides my love and me ; 
Wearying Heaven in warm devotion, 
For his weal where'er he be. 

2 Hope and fear's alternate billow 

Yielding late to Nature's law, 
Whisp'ring spirits round my pillow 
Talk of him that 's far awa'. 

3 Ye whom sorrow never wounded, 

Ye who never shed a tear. 
Care-untroubled, joy-surrounded, 
Gaudy day to you is dear. 

4 Gentle night, do thou befriend me ; 

Downy sleep, the curtain draw ; 
Spirits kind, again attend me, 
Talk of him that's far awa' I 


Tune — ' Andrew and his Cutty Gun! 


Blithe, blithe and merry was she, 
Blithe was she but and ben : 

Blithe bj the banks of Earn, 
And blithe in Glenturit glen. 

1 By Oclitertyre grows the aik, 

On Yarrow banks, the birken shaw ; 
But Phemie^ was a bonnier lass 
Than braes o' Yarrow ever saw. 

2 Her looks were like a flower in May, 

Here smile was like a simmer morn ; 
She tripped by the banks of Earn, 
As light 's a bird upon a thorn. 

3 Her bonnie face it was as meek 
As ony lamb upon a lea ; 
The evening sun was ne'er sae sweet 
As was the blink o' Phemie's e'e. 

4 The Highland hills I 've wander'd wide, 
And o'er the Lowlands I hae been ; 
But Phemie was the blithest lass 
That ever trod the dewy green. 

' ' Pliemie : ' Miss Murray of Lintrose, called the Flower of Strathmore, who 
met the poet at Oclitertyre. 

14 burns' poems. 


Tune—' The Shepherd's Wife.' 

1 A EOSE-BUD by my early walk, 
Adowii a corn-enclosed bawk, 
Sae gently bent its thorny stalk, 

All on a dewy morning. 

2 Ere twice the shades o' dawn are fled, 
In a' its crimson glory spread. 

And drooping rich the dewy head, 
It scents the early morning. 

3 Witliin the bush, her covert nest 
A little linnet fondly press'd, 
The dew sat chilly on her breast 

Sae early in the morning. 

4 She soon sliall see her tender brood 
The pride, the pleasure o' tlie wood, 
Amaug the fresh green leaves bedew'd, 

Awake the early morning, 

5 So thou, dear bird, young Jeanie fair I 
On trembling string or vocal air, 
Shall sweetly pay the tender care 

That tents thy early morning. 


6 So thou, sweet rose-bud, young and gay, 
Shalt beauteous blaze upon the day. 
And bless the parent's evening ray 

That watch'd thy early morning. 

' ' Tliis song was written on Miss Cruickslianks, daiigliter of W. Cruick- 
slianks, of the liigli School, a great friend of Burns. Our readers will 
remember, in the first volume, another poem on tlie same lady. Slie became 
wife to Mr Henderson, Jedburgh. 



Tune — 'Neil Goivs Lamentation for Ahercairny: 

1 Wheke, braying angry winter's storms, 

The lofty Ochils rise, 
Far in their shade my Peggy's ^ charms 

First blest my wond'ring eyes ; 
As one who by some savage stream, 

A lonely gem surveys, 
Astonish'd doubly, marks its beam 

With art's most polish'd blaze. 

2 Blest be the wild, sequester'd shade. 

And blest the day and hour, 
Where Peggy's charms I first survey 'd, 

When first I felt their power ! 
The tyrant Death, with grim control. 

May seize my fleeting breath : 
But tearing Peggy from my soul 

Must be a stronger death. 

Tune — ' Invercald's Reel/ 


Tibbie, I hae seen the day 
Ye wad na been sae shy* 

For laik o' gear ye lightly me, 
But, trowth, I care na by. 

1 Yestreen I met you on the moor, 
Ye spak na, but gaed by like stoure : 

' ' Peggy : ' Margaret Clialincr.,, aflcrwards Mis Lewis Hay 

16 burns' poems. 

Ye geek at me because I 'm poor, 
But fient a hair care I. 


I doubt na, lass, but je may think, 
Because ye hae the name o' clink, 
That ye can please me at a wink, 
Whene'er ye like to try. 

3 But sorrow tak him that's sae mean, 
Although his pouch o' coin were clean, 
Wha follows ony saucy quean 

That looks sae proud and high. 

4 Although a lad were e'er sae smart, 
If that he want tlie yellow dirt, 

Ye '11 cast your head anither airt, 
And answer him fu' dry. 

5 But if lie hae the name o' gear, 
Ye '11 fasten to him like a brier, 
Though hardly he, for sense or lear, 

Be better than the kye. 

6 But, Tibbie, lass, tak my advice. 
Your daddie's gear maks you sae nice ; 
The deil a ane wad spier your price, 

Were ye as poor as I. 

7 There lives a lass in yonder park, 
I would na gie her in her sark, 
For thee, wi' a' thy thousan' mark ; 

Ye need na look sae high. 




1 Clarinda, mistress of mj soul, 

The measured time is run ! 
The wretch beneath the dreary pole, 
So marks his latest sun. 

2 To what dark cave of frozen night 

Shall poor Sjlvander hie '? 
Deprived of thee, his life and light. 
The sun of all his joy ! 

3 We part — but, by these precious drops 

That fill thy lovely eyes ! 
No other light shall guide my steps 
Till thy bright beams arise. 

4 She, the fair sun of all her sex, 

Has blest my glorious day : 
And shall a glimmering planet fix; 
My worship to its ray ? 


Tune — ' Seventh of November.' 

1 Tbe day returns, my bosom burns, 

The blissful day we twa did meet ; 
Though winter wild in tempest toil'd, 

Ne'er summer-sun was half sae sweet. 
Than a' the pride that loads the tide, 

And crosses o'er the sultry line ; 
Than kingly robes, than crowns and globes. 

Heaven gave me more — it made thee niino ! 


18 burns' poems. 

2 While day and nigbt can bring delight. 

Or nature aught of pleasure give ; 
While joys above, my mind can move, 

For thee, and thee alone, I live ! 
When that grim foe of life below 

Comes in between to make us part ; 
The iron hand that breaks our band, 

It breaks my bliss — it breaks my heart. 


The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, 
Concealing the course of the dark-winding rill ; 
How languid the scenes, late so sprightly, appear, 
As Autumn to Winter resigns the pale year ! 
The forests are leafless, the meadows are brown, 
And all the gay foppery of Summer is flown : 
Apart let me wander, apart let me muse, 
How quick Time is flying, how keen Fate pursues ; 
How lono; I have lived — but how much lived iu vain : 
How little of life's scanty span may remain : 
What aspects old Time, in his progress, has worn ; 
What ties cruel fate in my bosom has torn ! 
How foolish, or worse, till our summit is gain'd ! 
And downward, how weakep'd, how darkeu'd, how pain'd 
This life 's not worth having with all it can give — 
For something beyond it poor man, sure, must live. 


Tune — ' My Love is lost to Me' 

1 On, were I on Pcirnassus' hill ! 
Or had of Helicon my fill ; 
That I might catch poetic skill, 
To sino^ how dear I love thee. 

OF a' the aiets. 19 

But Nitli maun be my Muse's well, 
My Muse maun be thy bonnie sel' ; 
On Corsincon ^ 1 11 glower and spell. 
And write how dear I love thee. 

2 Then come, sweet Muse, inspire my lay ! 
For a' the lee-lang simmer's day, 
I couldna sing, I couldua say, 

How much, how dear I love thee. 
I see thee dancing o'er the green, 
Thy waist sae jimp, thy limbs sae clean. 
Thy tempting lips, thy roguish e'en — 

By heaven and earth I love thee ! 

3 By night, by day, a-field, at hame. 
The thoughts o' thee my breast inflame ; 
And aye I muse and sing thy name — 

I only live to love thee. 
Though I were doom'd to wander on, 
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun, 
Till my last weary sand was run ; 

Till then — and then I love thee. 

Tune — ' M'i88 Admiral Gordon's Strathspey.' 

1 Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, 
I dearly like the west. 
For there the bonnie lassie lives. 
The lassie I lo'e best : 

'Corsincon : ' a liill near Ellisland. 


There wild-woods grow, and rivers row, 
And monj a hill between ; 

But day and night my fancy's flight 
Is ever wi' my Jean. 

2 I see her in the dewy flowers, 

I see her sweet and fair : 
I hear her in the tunefu' birds, 

I hear her charm the air : 
There 's not a bonnie flower that springs 

By fountain, shaw, or green. 
There 's not a bonnie bird that sings. 

But minds me o' my Jean. 


Tune — ' The Braes o' Ballochmyle.' 

1 The Catrine woods were yellow seen. 

The flowers decay'd on Catrine lee, 
Nae laverock sang on hillock green. 

But nature sicken'd on the e'e. 
Through faded groves Maria ^ sang, 

HerseF in beauty's bloom the while. 
And aye the wild-wood echoes rang, 

Fareweel, the Braes o' Ballochmyle ! 

2 Low in your wintry beds, ye flowers, 

Again ye '11 flourish fresh and fair ; 
Ye birdies dumb, in with'ring bowers. 

Again ye '11 charm the vocal air. 
But here, alas ! for me nae mair, 

Shall birdie charm, or flow'ret smile ; 
Fareweel the bonnie banks of Ayr, 

Fareweel, fareweel, sweet Ballochmyle ! 

' Maria : ' eldest daughter of Sir Johu Whitefoord of Ballochmyle. 

WILLIE BREW'd a peck o' MAUT. 21 


Tune — ' Willie hrewd a peclc d Maui! 

1 Oh, Willie brew'd a peck o' maut, 

And Rob and Allan cam to pree : 
Three blither hearts, that lee-lang night, 
Ye wad na find in Christendie. 


We are ua fou, we 're uae that fou, 
But just a drappie in our e'e ; 

The cock may craw, the day may daw, 
And aye we '11 taste the barley bree. 

2 Here are we met, three merry boys, 

Three merry boys, I trow, are we ; 
And mony a night we 've merry been, 
And mony raae we hope to be ! 

?> It is the moon, I ken her horn, 

That 's blinkin' in the lift sae hie ; 
She shines sae bright to wile us hame, 
But, by my sooth, she '11 wait a wee! 

4 Wha first shall rise to gang awa', 
A cuckold coward loon is he ! 
Wha last beside his chair shall fa', 
He is the king among us three ! 

' ' Willie : ' who ' brew'd a peck o' niaut,' was William Nicol ; and Rob 
and Allan were our poet and his friend, Allan Masterton, a writing-master in 
Edinburgh. This meeting took place at Laggan, a farm piuciiascd by Mr 
Nicol, in Nithsdale, on the recommendation of our bard. 

22 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' The hlue-eyed Lass.' 

1 I GAED a waefii' gate yestreen, 

A gate, I fear, I '11 dearly rue ; 
I gat my death frae twa sweet e'en, 

Twa lovely e'en o' bonnie blue. 
'Twas not her golden ringlets bright ; 

Her lips like roses wat wi' dew, 
Iler heaving bosom, lily-white — 

It was her e'en sae bonnie blue, 

2 She talk'd, she smiled, my heart she wiled ; 

She charm'd my soul, I wist na how ; 
And aye the stound, the deadly wound, 

Cam frae her e'en sae bonnie blue. 
But, spare to speak, and spare to speed ; 

She '11 aiblins listen to my vow : 
Should she refuse, I '11 lay my dead 

To her twa e'en sae bonnie blue.^ 


Tune — ' Eobie donna gorach.' 

1 The Thames flows proudly to the sea, 

Where royal cities stately stand ; 
But sweeter flows the Nith, to me. 

Where Cummins ance had high command ; 
When shall I see that honour'd land, 

That winding stream I love so dear ! 
Must wayward Fortune's adverse hand, 

For ever, ever keep me here ? 

Blue-eyed lass : ' daughter of Rev. Jlr Jeffrey of Lochmabcn. 

I k 


2 How lovely, Nith, thy fruitful vales, 

Where spreading hawthorns gaily bloom ; 
How sweetly wind thy sloping dales. 

Where lambkins wanton through the broom I 
Though wandering, now, must be my doom, 

Far from thy bonnie banks and braes, 
May there my latest hours consume, 

Amang the friends of early days ! 


Tune — 'John Andei^son, my jo! 

1 John Anderson, my jo, John, 

When we were first acqiient, 
Your locks were like the raven. 

Your bonnie brow was brent ; 
But now your brow is held, John, 

Your locks are like the snaw ; 
But blessings on your frosty pow, 

John Anderson, my jo. 

2 John Anderson, my jo, John, 

We clamb the hill thegither ; 
And mony a canty day, John, 

AVe 've had wi' ane anither : 
Now we maun totter down, John, 

But hand in hand we '11 go ; 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson, my jo. 

24 burns' poems. 


Tune—' Tarn Glen: 

1 My heart is a-breakiug, dear tittie. 

Some counsel unto me come len', 
To anger them a' is a pitj, 

But what "will I do wi' Tarn Glen ? 

2 I 'm thinking, wi' sic a braw fellow. 

In poortith I might mak a fen' : 
What care I in riches to wallow, 
If I maunna marrj Tam Glen ? 

3 There 's Lowrie, the laird o' Drumeller, 

'Guid day to you, brute!' he comes ben ; 
He brags and he blaws o' his siller, 

But when will he dance like Tam Glen ? 

4 My minnie does constantly deave me, 

And bids me beware o' young men ; 
Tliey flatter, she says, to deceive me, 
But w^ha can think sae o' Tam Glen ? 

5 My daddie says, gin I '11 forsake him. 

He '11 gie me guid hunder marks ten : 
But, if it 's ordain'd I maun take him, 
Oh, wha will I get but Tam Glen 'i 

6 Yestreen at the yalentines' dealing, 

My heart to my mou' gied a sten ; 
For thrice I drew ane without failing, 
And thrice it was written — Tam Glen ! 


7 The last Hallowe'en I was waiikin' 

My droukifc sark-sleeve, as je ken ; 
Ilis likeness cam up the house staukin'. 
And the very gray breeks o' Tarn Glen ! 

8 Come, counsel, dear tittle! don't tarry; 

I '11 gie ye my bonuie black hen, 
Gif ye will advise me to marry 
The lad I lo'e dearly— Tarn Glen ! 


Tune — ' Mv Tocher's the Jewel! 

1 Oh, meikle thinks my love o' my beauty, 

And meikle thinks my love o' my kin ; 
But little thinks my love, I ken brawlie, 

My tocher 's the jewel has charms for him. 
It 's a' for the apple he '11 nourish the tree ; 

It 's a' for the hinny he '11 cherish the bee ; 
My laddie 's sae meikle in love wi' the siller, 

He canna hae love to spare for me. 

2 Your proffer o' love 's an airl-penny, 

IMy tocher 's the bargain ye wad buy ; 
But an ye be crafty, I am cunnin', 

Sae ye wi' anither your fortune maun try.. 
Yc 're like to the timmer o' yon rotten wood, 

Ye 're like to the bark o' yon rotten tree. 
Ye '11 slip frae me like a knotless thread, 

i\ud ye '11 crack your credit wi' mae nor mc. 

26 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' Then, Guidwife, count the Lawin. 

1 Gane is the day, and mirk 's the night, 
But we '11 ne'er stray for fau't o' light, 
For ale and brandy^s stars and moon, 
And bluid-red wine 's the risin' sun. 


Then, guidwife, count the lawin', 
The lawin', the lawin', 
Then, guidwife, count the lawin'. 
And bring a coggie mair. 

2 There 's wealth and ease for gentlemen. 
And semple-folk maun fecht and fen' ; 
But here we 're a' in ae accord. 

For ilka man that 's drunk 's a lord. 

o My coggie is a haly pool, 

That heals the M'ounds o' care and dool ; 

And pleasure is a wanton trout, 

x\n' ye drink but deep ye '11 find him out. 


Tune — ' What can a young Lassie do lui' an aiddManf 

1 What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie. 

What can a young lassie do wi' an auld man % 
Bad luck on the pennie that tempted my minnie 
To sell her poor Jenny for siller an' Ian' ! 

2 He's always compleenin' frae mornin' to e'enin'. 

He hosts and he hirples the weary day laug ; 

He 's doyl't and he 's dozin', his bluid it is frozen, 

Oh, dreary's the night wi' a crazy auld man ! 


3 He hums and he hankers, he frets and he cankers, 

I never can please him, do a' that I can ; 
He 's peevish and jealous of a' the young fellows, 
Oh, dool on the day I met wi' an auld man ! 

4 Mj auld Auntie Katie upon me takes pitv, 

I '11 do mj endeavour to follow her plan ; 
I '11 cross him, and wrack him, until I heart-break him.. 
And then his auld brass will buy me a new pan. 


Tune — 'Bonnie Wee Thing.' 

1 Bonnie wee thing, cannie wee thing. 

Lovely wee thing, wert thou mine, 
I wad w^ar thee in my bosom, 
Lest my jewel I should tine ! 

2 Wishfully I look and languish 

In that bonnie face o' thine ; 
And my heart it stounds wi' anguish. 
Lest my wee thing be na mine. 

3 Wit and grace, and love and beauty, 

In ae constellation shine ; 
To adore thee is my duty, 
Goddess o' this soul o' mine ! 


Tune — 'The Moudieiuort.' 


An' oh, for ane-and-twenty, Tarn ! 

An' hey, sweet ane-and-twenty. Tarn ! 
1 "11 learn my kin a rattlin' sang. 

An' I saw ane-and-twenty, Tarn ! 


1 Tbej snool me sair, and baud me down, 

And gar me look like blimtie, Tam ! 
But three short years will soon wheel roun'- 
And then comes ane-and-twentj, Tam ! 

2 A gleib o' Ian,' a claut o' gear, 

Was left me by my auntie, Tam ; 
At kith or kin I need na spier, 
An I saw aue-and-twenty, Tam I 

3 They'll hae me wed a wealthy coof, 

Though I mysel' hae plenty, Tam ; 
But hear'st thou, laddie — there 's my loof— 
I 'm thine at ane-and-twenty, Tam ! 


TuxE — ' The sweet Lass that Ides me! 

1 Oh, leeze me on my spinning wheel, 
Oh, leeze me on my rock and reel ; 
Frae tap to tae that deeds me bien, 
And haps me fiel and warm at e'en ! 
I '11 set me down and sing and spin. 
While laigh descends the simmer sun. 
Blest we content, and milk and meal — 
Oh, leeze me on my spinning wheel. 

2 On ilka hand the burnies trot. 
And meet below my theekit cot ; 
The scented birk and hawthorn white 
Across the pool their arms unite, 


Alike to screen the birdie's nest, 
And little fishes' caller rest : 
The sun blinks kindly in the biel', 
Where blithe I turn my spinning wheel. 

3 On lofty aiks the cushats wail, 
And echo cons the doolfu' tale ; 
The lintwhites in the hazel braes. 
Delighted, rival ither's lays : 
The craik among the clover hay, 
The paitrick whirrin' o'er the ley, 
The swallow jinkin' round my shicl, 
Amuse me at my spinning wheel. 

4 Wi' sma' to sell, and less to buy, 
Aboon distress, below envy, 

Oh, wha wad leave this humble state, 
For a' the pride of a' the great ? 
Amid their flaring, idle toys, 
Amid their cumbrous, dinsome joys. 
Can they the peace and pleasure feel 
Of Bessy at her spinning wheel ? 

Tune — ' The Country Lassie.' 

1 In simmer, when the hay was mawn, 

And corn waved green in ilka field, 
While clover blooms white o'er the lea, 

And roses blaw in ilka bield ; 
Blithe Bessie in the milking shiel. 

Says, ' I'll be wed, come o't uhat will.' 
Out spak a dame in wrinkled eild : 

' 0' guid advisement comes nae ill. 

30 burns' poems. 

2 ' Its ye bae wooers monj ane, 

And, lassie, je 're but young, ye ken ; 
Then wait a wee, and cannie wale 

A routbie butt, a routbie ben : 
Tbere 's Jobnnie o' tbe Buskie-glen, 

Fu' is bis barn, fu bis byre ; 
Tak this frae me, my bonnie hen, 

It's plenty beets the lover's fire.' 

3 ' For Johnnie o' the Buskie-glen, 

I dinna care a single flie ; 
He lo'es sae weel his craps and kye, 

He has nae love to spare for me ; 
But bbthe 's the blink o' Robie's e'e. 

And, weel I wat, he lo'es me dear : 
Ae blink o' him I wad nae gie 

For Buskie-glen and a' his gear.' 

4 ' thoughtless lassie ! life 's a faught ; 

The canniest gate, the strife is sair ; 
But aye fu' ban 't is fechtin' best, 

A hungry care 's an unco care. 
But some will spend, and some will spare, 

An' wilfu folk maun bae their will ; 
Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair, 

Keep mind that ye maun drink the yilL' 

5 ' Ob, gear will buy me rigs o' land. 

And gear will buy me sheep and kye ; 
But the tender heart o' leesome love, 

The gowd and siller canna buy ; 
We may be poor — Robie and I, 

Light is the burden love lays on ; 
Content and love bring peace and joy — 

What mair bae queens upon a throne ^ ' 


Tune — ' Go fetch to me a pint o wine' 

1 Go fetch to me a pint o' wine, 

An' fill it in a silver tassie ; 
That I may drink before I go, 

A service to my bonuie lassie. 
The boat rocks at the pier o' Leith; 

Fu' loud the wind blaws frae the ferry ; 
The ship rides by the Berwick-law, 

And I maun leave my bonnie Mary. 

2 The trumpets sound, the banners fly. 

The glimmering spears are ranked ready ; 
The shouts o' war are heard afar, 

The battle closes thick and bloody ; 
But it 's not the roar o' sea or shore 

Wad make me langer wish to tarry ; 
Nor shouts o' war that 's heard afar — 

It 's leaving thee, my bonnie Mary. 


Bom, September 5, 1751 — Died, IGth October 1774. 

No sculptured marble here, nor pompous lay, 
'No storied urn nor animated bust;' 

This simple stone directs pale Scotia's way 
To pour her sorrows o'er her poet's dust. 

Ou tlie other side of the Stone is as follows : — 

'By special grant of the Managers to Robert Burns, 
who erected this stone, this burial-place is to remain for 
ever sacred to the memory of Robert Fcrgusson.' 

32 burns' poems. 



Plow wisdom and follj meet, mix, and unite ; 
How virtue and vice blend their black and their white ; 
How genius, th' illustrious father of fiction, 
Confounds rule and law, reconciles contradition — 
I sing : If these mortals, the critics, should bustle, 
I care not, not I — let the critics go whistle. 

But now for a Patron, whose name and whose glory 
At once may illustrate and honour my story. 

Thou first of our orators, first of our wits ; 9 

Yet whose parts and acquirements seem mere lucky hits ; 
With knowledge so vast, and with judgment so strong, 
No man with the half of 'em e'er went far wrong ; 
With passions so potent, and fancies so bright, 
No man with the half of 'em e'er went quite right : 
A sorry, poor misbegot son of the Muses, 
For using thy name offers fifty excuses. 

Good L — d, what is man ! for as simple he looks, 
Do but try to develop his hooks and his crooks ; 
With his depths and his shallows, his good and his evil, 
All in all he 's a problem must puzzle the devil. 20 

On his one ruling passion Sir Pope hugely labours, 
That, like th' old Hebrew-walking switch, eats up its 

neighbours : 
Mankind are his show-box — a friend, would you know him ? 
Pull the string, ruling passion the picture will show him. 
What pity, in rearing so beauteous a system, 
One trifling particular — truth — should have miss'd him : 
For, in spite of his fine theoretic positions, 
Mankind is a science defies definitions. 

Some sort all our qualities each to its tribe, 


And think human nature thej truly describe ; 30 

Have you found this, or t' other 1 there 's more in the wind, 

As by one drunken fellow his comrades you '11 find. 

But such is the flaw, or the depth of the plan. 

In the make of that wonderful creature, call'd Man, 

No two virtues, whatever relation they claim, 

Nor even two different shades of the same, 

Though like as was ever twin-brother to brother. 

Possessing the one shall imply you 've the other. 

But truce with abstraction, and truce with the Muse, 39 

Whose rhymes you '11 perhaps, sir, ne'er deign to peruse ; 

Will you leave your joustings, your jars, and your quarrels, 

Contending with Billy for proud-nodding laurels ? 

My much-honour'd Patron, believe your poor Poet, 

Your courage much more than your prudence you show it : 

In vain with Squire Billy for laurels you struggle. 

He '11 have them by fair trade, if not, he will smuggle ; 

Not cabinets even of kings would conceal 'em, 

He 'd up the back-stairs, and by G — he would steal 'era ! 

Then feats like Squire Billy's you ne'er can achieve 'em, 

It is not, outdo him, the task is, out-thieve him! 50 



ON NEW year's evening, 1790. 

No song nor dance I bring from yon great city 
That queens it o'er our taste — the more 's tlie pity : 
Though, by the by, abroad why will ye roam ? 
Good sense and taste arc natives here at home : 
But not for panegyric I appear, 
I come to wish you all a good new-year ! 
VOL. n. c 


Old Fatlier Time deputes me liere before je, r 

Not for to preach, but tell his simple story : 

The sage grave aucient cough'd, and bade me say- — ■ 

' You're one year older this important day;^ 

If wiser, too — he hinted some suggestion, 

But 'twould be rude, you know, to ask the question ; 

And with a would-be roguish leer and wink. 

He bade me on you press this one word — ' Think ! ' 

Ye sprightly youths, quite flush with hope and spirit. 
Who think to storm the world by dint of merit ! 
To you the dotard has a deal to say, 
In his sly, dry, sententious, proverb way : 
He bids you mind, amid your thoughtless rattle, 
That the first blow is ever half the battle ; 20 

That though some by the skirt may try to snatch him. 
Yet by the forelock is the hold to catch him ; 
That whether doing, suffering, or forbearing. 
You may do miracles by persevering. 

Last, though not least in love, ye youthful fair, 
Angelic forms, high Heaven's peculiar care ! 
To you old Bald-pate smooths his wrinkled brow, 
And humbly begs you '11 mind the important now ! 
To crown your happiness he asks your leave. 
And offers bliss to give and to receive. 30 

For our sincere, though haply weak endeavours. 
With grateful pride we own your many favours ; 
And howsoe'er our tongues may ill reveal it, 
Believe our glowing bosoms truly feel it. 




Still anxious to secure your partial favour, 
And not less anxious, sure, this night than ever, 
A Prologue, Epilogue, or some such matter, 
T would vamp my bill, said I, if nothing better ; 
So sought a Poet, roosted near the skies, 
Told him I came to feast my curious eyes ; 
Said, nothing like his works was ever printed ; 
And last my Prologue-business slily hinted. 
' Ma'am, let me tell you,' quoth my man of rhymes, 
' I know your bent — these are no laughing times : lo 
Can you — but, Miss, I own I have my fears — 
Dissolve in pause — and sentimental tears — 
With laden sighs, and solemn-rounded sentence. 
Rouse from his sluggish slumbers fell Repentance ; 
Paint Vengeance as he takes his horrid stand, 
Waving on high the desolating brand, 
Calling the storms to bear him o'er a guilty land 1 ' 

I could no more — askance the creature eyeing, 
' D'ye think/ said I, ' this face was made for crying 1 
I'll laugh, that 's poz — nay more, the world shall know it ; 
And so, your servant, gloomy Master Poet ! ' 21 

Firm as my creed, sirs, 'tis my fix'd belief. 
That Misery's another word for Grief; 
I also think — so may I be a bride ! — 
That so much laughter 's so much life enjoy'd. 

Thou man of crazy care and ceaseless sigh, 
Still under bleak Misfortune's blasting eye ; 
Doom'd to that sorest task of man alive — 
To make three guineas do the work of five : 


Laugli in Misfortune's face— the beldam "U'itch ! — -so 
Say, you '11 be merry, though you can't be rich. 

"^rhou other man of care, the wretch in love, 
Who long with jiltish arts and airs hast strove ; 
Who, as the boughs all temptingly project, 
Measurest in desperate thought — a rope — thy neck — 
Or, where the beetling cliff o'erhangs the deep, 
Peerest to meditate the healing leap : 
Wouldst thou be cured, thou silly, moping elf? 
Laugh at her follies — laugh e'en at thyself : 
Learn to despise those frowns now so terrific, 4o 

And love a kinder — that 's your grand specific. 

To sum up all, be merry, I advise ; 
And as we 're merry, may we still be wise. 



While Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things. 
The fate of empires and the fall of kings ; 
While quacks of state must each produce his plan, 
And eveil children lisp the Rights of Man ; 
Amid this mighty fuss, just let me mention. 
The Rights of Woman merit some attention. 

First, in the sexes' intermix'd connexion, 
One sacred right of Woman is — Protection. 
The tender flower that lifts its head, elate. 
Helpless, must fall before the blasts of fate, lo 

Sunk on the earth, defaced its lovely form. 
Unless your shelter ward th' impending storm. 

Our second right — but needless here is caution, 
To keep that right inviolate 's the fashion. 


Each man of sense has it so full before him, 15 

He 'd die before he 'd wrong it — 'tis Decorum. 
There was, indeed, in far less polish'd days, 
A time when rough, rude man had naughty ways ; 
Would swagger, swear, get drunk, kick up a riot, 
Nay, even thus invade a lady's quiet ;i 20 

Now, thank our stars ! these Gothic times are fled ; 
Now, well-bred men — and you are all well-bred — 
Most justly think (and we are much the gainers) 
Such conduct neither spirit, wit, nor manners. 

For right the third, our last, our best, our dearest, 
That right to fluttering female hearts the nearest, 
AVhich even the rights of Kings, in low prostration, 
Most humbly own — 'tis dear, dear Admiration ! 
In that blest sphere we live and move ; 
There taste that life of life — immortal love. 30 

Smiles, glances, sighs, tears, fits, flirtations, airs, 
'Gainst such an host what flinty savage dares — 
When awful Beauty joins with all her charms, 
Who is so rash as rise in rebel arms ? 

But truce with kings, and truce with constitutions, 
With bloody armaments and revolutions; 
Let Majesty your first attention summon, 
Ah ! fa ira! the Majesty of Woman. 


Edinburgh, 2Mh August 1 789. 
Dear Burns, thou brother of my heart. 
Both for thy virtues and thy art ; 
If art it may be call'd in tlice, 
Which Nature's bounty, large and free, 

' Ironical allusion to the Saturnalia of the Caledonian Hunt. 

464 ii 

38 burns' poems. 

With pleasure iu thy breast diffuses, 5 

And M'arms thj soul with all the Muses. 
^ Whether to laugh with easy grace, 
Thj numbers move the sage's face, 
Or bid the softer passions rise, 
And ruthless souls with grief surprise, 10 

'Tis Nature's voice distinctly felt, 
Through thee, her organ, thus to melt. 

Most anxiously I wish to know 
With thee of late how matters go ; 
How keeps thy miich-loved Jean her health ? 
What promises thy farm of wealth ? 
Whether the Muse persists to smile, 
And all thy anxious cares beguile ? 
Whether bright fancy keeps alive ^ 
And how thy darliug infants thrive ? 20 

For me, with grief and sickness spent. 
Since I my journey homeward bent, 
Spirits depress'd no more I mourn, 
But vigour, life, and health return. 
No more to gloomy thoughts a prey, 
I sleep all night, and live all day ; 
By turns my book and friend enjoy. 
And thus my circling hours employ : 
Happy Avhile yet these hours remain. 
If Burns could join the cheerful train, 30 

With wonted zeal, sincere and fervent. 
Salute once more his humble servant, 

Tho. Blacklock. 




Ellisland, 21st October 1789. 

1 Wow, but your letter made me vauntie ! 
And are ye hale, and weel, and cantie? 
I kenn'd it still your wee bit j auntie 

Wad bring ye to : 
Lord send you aye as weel 's I want ye, 

x\nd then ye '11 do. 

2 The ill-thief blaw the Heron south ! 
And never drink be near his drouth ! 
He tald mysel' by word o' mouth, 

He'd tak my letter ; 
I lippen'd to the chiel in trouth, 

And bade nae better. 

3 But aiblins, honest Master Heron "^ 
Had at the time some dainty fair one. 
To ware his theolosic care on, 

And holy study ; 
And tired o' sauls to waste his lear on, 

E'en tried the body. 

4 But what d' ye think, my trusty fier, 

I 'm turn'd a ganger — Peace be here ! 
Parnassian queans, I fear, I fear, 

Ye '11 now disdain me. 
And then my fifty pounds a-year 

Will little gain me. 

' ' Heron : ' a poor unfortunate, but rather able bookseller's hack— author 
of a Life of Burns. 

40 BUilNS' POEMS. 

5 Ye glaiket, gleesome, dainty damies, 
Wha, by Castalia's Avimpliu' streamies, 
Loup, sing, and lave your pretty limbies, 

Ye ken, ye ken, 
That Strang necessity supreme is 

'Mang sons o' men. 

6 I liae a wife and twa wee laddies, 

They maun hae brose and brats o' duddies ; 
Ye ken yoursels my heart right proud is — 

I need na vaunt, 
But 1 11 sued besoms — thraw saugh woodies. 

Before they want. 

7 Lord, help me through this warld o' care I 
I 'm weary sick o 't late and air I 

Not but I hae a richer share 

Than mony ithers ; 

But why should ae man better fare. 

And a' men brithers'? 

8 Come, firm Resolve ! take thou the van, 
Thou stalk o' carl-hemp in man ! 

And let us mind, faint heart ne'er v»'an 

A lady fair ; 
Wha does the utmost that he can. 

Will whiles do mair, 

9 But to conclude my silly rhyme, 

(I 'm scant o' verse, and scant o' time). 
To make a happy fireside clime 

To weans and wife. 
That 's the true pathos and sublime 

Of human life. 


10 Mj compliments to sister Beckie ; 
And eke the same to honest Luckj, 
I wat she is a claintj chuckie, 

As e'er tread clay ! 
And gratefully, my guid auld cockie, 

I 'm yours for aye. 

Robert Burns. 


Air — 'There'll never be peace till Jamie comes liame: 

1 By yon castle wa', at the close of the day, 

I heard a man sing, though his head it was gray ; 
And as he -was singing the tears fast down came — 
There 'II never be peace till Jamie comes hame. 

2 The Church is in ruins, the State is in jars : 
Delusions, oppressions, and murderous wars ; 

We dare na' weel say't, but we ken wha's to blame — 
There '11 never be peace till Jamie comes liame. 

3 My seven braw sons for Jamie drew sword. 

And now I greet round their green beds in the yird : 
It brak the sweet heart o' my faithfu' auld dame — 
There '11 never be peace till Jamie comes hamc. 

4 Now life is a burden that bows me down, 
Sin' I tint my bairns, and he tint his crown ; 

But till my last moment my words are the same — 
There '11 never be peace till Jamie comes hame. 



Air — ' Captain O'Kean.' 

1 The small birds rejoice iu the green leaves returning, 

The murmuring streamlet winds clear through the vale : 
The hawthorn trees blow in the dew of the morning, 
And Mdld scatter'd cowslips bedeck the green dale. 

2 But what can give pleasure, or what can seem fair, 

While the lingering moments are number'd bj care 1 
No flowers gailj springing, nor birds sweetly singing, 
Can soothe the sad bosom of joyless despair. 

3 The deed that I dared, could it merit their malice, 

A king and a father to place on his throne 1 
His right are these hills, and his right are these valleys. 
Where the wild beasts find shelter, but T can find none. 

4 But 'tis not my sufi'erings thus wretched, forlorn ; 

My brave gallant friends, 'tis your ruin I mourn ; 
Your deeds proved so loyal in hot bloody trial — 
Alas ! can I make you no sweeter return ! 


Air — ' Oran an AoigJ 

Scene — A field of battle — Time of the day, evening — The wounded and dying 
of the victorious army are supposed to join in the following song : — 

1 Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth, and ye skies. 

Now gay with the bright setting sun ; 
Farewell, loves and friendships, ye dear tender ties — 
Our race of existence is run ! 

2 Thou grim King of Terrors, thou life's gloomy foe, 

Go, frighten the coward and slave ; 


Go, teach them to tremble, fell tyrant ! but know, 
No terrors hast thou to the brave ! 

3 Thou strik'st the dull peasant — he sinks in the dark, 

Nor saves e'en the wreck of a name ; 
Thou strik'st the young hero — a glorious mark ! 
He falls in the blaze of his fame ! 

4 In the field of proud honour — our swords in our hands, 

Our king and our country to save — 
While victory shines on life's last ebbing sands, 
Oh ! who would not rest with the brave 1 


Tune — ' Naehody! 

1 I HAE a wife o' my ain, 

I '11 partake wi' naebody ; 
I '11 tak cuckold frae nane, 
I '11 gie cuckold to naebody. 

2 I hae a penny to spend. 

There — thanks to naebody; 
I hae naething to lend, 
I '11 borrow frae naebody. 

3 I am uaebody's lord, 

I '11 be slave to naebody ; 
I hae a guid braid sword, 
I '11 tak dunts frae naebody, 

4 I '11 be merry and free, 

I '11 be sad for naebody ; 
If naebody care for me, 
I '11 care for naebody. 

44 burns' poems. 


1 Thou lingering star, TS'itb lessening raj, 

That lov'st to greet the early morn, 
Again thou iisher'st in the day 

Mj Marj from mj soul was torn. 
Mary ! dear departed shade ! 

Where is thy place of blissful rest ? 
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid ? 

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ? 

2 That sacred hour can I for£:et. 

Can I forget the hallow'd grove, 
Where by the winding Ayr we met. 

To live one day of parting love ! 
Eternity will not efface 

Those records dear of transports past ; 
Thy image at our last embrace ; 

Ah ! little thought we 'twas our last ! 

3 Ayr, gurgling, kiss'd his pebbled shore, 

O'erhung with wild woods, thickening green ; 
The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar, 

Twined amorous round the raptured scene ; 
The flowers sprang wanton to be press'd. 

The birds sang love on every spray — 
Till too, too soon the glowing west 

Proclaim'd the speed of winged day. 

4 Still o'er these scenes my memory wakes. 

And fondly broods with miser care ! 
Time but the impression stronger makes, 
As streams their channels deeper wear. 


Mj Marj ! dear departed shade ! 

Where is ihj place of blissful rest ? 
Seest thou thy lover lo^lj laid 1 

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ? 


1 This wot ye all whom it concerns, 
I, Rhymer Robin, alias Burns, 

October twenty-third, 
A ne'er to be forgotten day, 
Sae far I sprachled up the brae, 

I dinner'd wi' a Lord. 

2 1 've been at drucken writers' feasts, 
Nay, been bitch-fou 'mang godly priests, 

Wi' reverence be it spoken ; 
I 've even join'd the honour'd jorum, 
When mighty Squireships of the quorum. 

Their hydra drouth did sloken. 

3 But wi' a Lord — stand out my shin! 
A Lord — a Peer — an Earl's son ! 

Up higher yet my bonnet ! 
An' sic a Lord ! — lang Scotch ells twa, 
Our Peerage he o'crlooks them a', 

As I look o'er my sonnet, 

4 But oh for Hogarth's magic power ! 
To show Sir Bardie's willyart glower, 

And how he stared and stammcr'd, 

' ' I.oid Daer : ' son of the Earl of Selkirk. 

46" burns' poems. 

When goavan, as if led wi' branks, 
An' stumpin' on his ploughman shanks, 
He in the parlour hammer'd. 

5 I sidling shelter'd in a nook, 

An' at his Lordship steal't a look, 

Like some portentous omen ; 

Except good sense and social glee. 

An' (what surprised me) modesty, 

I marked nought uncommon. 

6 I watch'd the symptoms o' the Great, 
The gentle pride, the lordly state, 

The arrogant assuming ; 
The feint a pride, nae pride had he, 
Nor sauce, nor state, that I could see, 

Mair than an honest ploughman. 

7 Then from his Lordship I shall learn, 
Henceforth to meet with unconcern. 

One rank as weel's another ; 
Nae honest worthy man need care 
To meet with noble, youthful Daer, 

For he but meets a brother. 



Air — ' The Pretty MilhmaicV 

1 How pleasant the banks of the clear-winding Devon, 
With green-spreading bushes, and flowers blooming ftiir 

' ' Young lady : ' Charlotte Hamilton. 


But the boDinest flower on the banks of the Devon 
Was once a sweet bud on the braes of the Ayr. 

2 Mild be the sun on this sweet blushing flower, 

In the gay rosy morn as it bathes in the dew ! 
And gentle the fall of the soft vernal shower, 
That steals on the evening each leaf to renew. 

3 Oh, spare the dear blossom, ye orient breezes. 

With chill hoary wing as ye usher the dawn ! 
And far be thou distant, thou reptile that seizes 
The verdure and pride of the garden and lawn ! 

4 Let Bourbon exult in his gay gilded lilies, 

And England triumphant display her proud rose ; 
A fairer than either adorns the green valleys 
Where Devon, sweet Devon, meandering flows. 


Tune — ' Morag! 

1 Streams that glide in orient plains 
Never bound by winter's chains ; 
Glowing here on golden sands. 
There commix'd with foulest stains 
From Tyranny's empurpled bands : 
These, their richly-gleaming M^aves, 
I leave to tyrants and their slaves ; 
Give me the stream that sweetly laves 

The banks by Castle-Gordon. 

2 Spicy forests, ever gay. 
Shading from the burning ray 
Hapless wretches sold to toil, 
Or the ruthless native's way, 


Bent on slaughter, blood, and spoil : 
Woods that ever verdant wave, 
I leave the tyrant and the slave ; 
Give me the groves that lofty brave 
The storms, by Castle-Gordon. 

3 Wildly here, without control, 
Nature reigns and rules the whole ; 
In that sober, pensive mood, 
Dearest to the feeling soul, 
She plants the forest, pours the flood ; 
Life's poor day I '11 musing rave. 
And find at night a sheltering cave, 
Where waters flow and wild woods wave, 
By bonnie Castle-Gordon. 



1 Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize 

As Burnet, lovely from her native skies ; 
Nor envious Death so triumph'd in a blow, 
As that which laid th' accomplish'd Burnet low. 

2 Thy form and mind, sweet maid, can I forget 1 
In richest ore the brightest jewel set ! 

In thee, high Heaven above was truest shown, 

As by his noblest work the Godhead best is known. 

3 In vain ye flaunt in summer's pride, ye groves ; 

Thou crystal streamlet with thy flowery shore, 
Ye woodland choir that chant your idle loves. 
Ye cease to charm — Eliza is no more ! 


4 Ye heathy wastes immix'd with reedy fens ; 

Ye mossy streams, with sedge aud rushes stored ; 
Ye rugged cliffs, o'erhanging dreary glens, 
To you I fly, ye with ray soul accord ! 

5 Princes, whose cumbrous pride was all their worth, 

Shall venal lays their pompous exit hail 1 
And thou, sweet excellence ! forsake our earth, 
And not a Muse in honest grief bewail ? 

6 We saw thee shine in youth and beauty's pride, 

And virtue's light, that beams beyond the spheres ; 
But like the sun eclipsed at morning tide. 
Thou left'st us darkling in a world of tears. 

7 The parent's heart that nestled fond in thee, 

That heart how sunk, a prey to grief and care ! 
So deck'd the woodbine sweet yon aged tree ; 
So from it ravish'd, leaves it bleak and bare. 



Turn again, thou fair Eliza, 

Ae kind blink before we part ! 
Rue on thy despairing lover ! 

Canst thou break his faithfu' heart ? 
Turn again, thou fair Eliza ; 

If to love thy heart denies, 
For pity hide the cruel sentence 

Under friendship's kind disguise ! 

2 Thee, dear maid, hae I offended ? 
The offence is Ic 


The offence is loving thee 

50 burns' poems. 

Ccanst tliou wreck his peace for ever, 
Wlia for thine wad gladly die '? 

While the life beats in my bosom. 
Thou shalt mix in ilka throe : 

Turn again, thou lovely maiden, 
Ae sweet smile on me bestow. 

3 Not the bee upon the blossom, 

In the pride o' sunny noon ; 
Not the little sporting fairy, 

All beneath the simmer moon : 
Not the poet in the moment 

Fancy lightens on his e'e, 
Kens the pleasure, feels the rapture 

That thy presence gies to me. 


Tune—' The Posie.' 

1 Oh, luve will venture in where it daur na weel be seen, 
Ob, luve will venture in where wisdom ance has been ; 
But I will down yon river rove, amang the wood sae 

green — 
And a' to pu' a posie to my ain dear May. 

2 The primrose I will pu,' the firstling o' the year. 
And I will pu' the pink, the emblem o' my dear, 
For she 's the pink o' womankind, and blooms without 

a peer — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

8 I '11 pu' the budding rose, when Phoebus peeps in view, 
For it 's like a balmy kiss o' her sweet bonnie mou' ; 
The hyacinth 's for constancy, wi' its unchanging blue— 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 


4 The lilj it is pure, and the lilj it is fair, 

And in her lovely bosom 1 11 place the lilj there ; 
The daisy's for simplicity and unaffected air — 
And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

5 The hawthorn I will pu', wi' its locks o' siller gray, 
Where, like an aged man, it stands at break o' day. 
But the songster's nest within the bush I winna tak away— 

And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May. 

6 The woodbine I will pu' when the e'enin' star is near, 
And the diamond-draps o' dew shall be her e'en sae clear; 
The violet 's for modesty, which weel she fa's to wear — 

And a' to be a posie to my ain dear May, 


I '11 tie the posie round wi' the silken band o' luve. 
And I '11 place it in her breast, and I '11 swear by a' above. 
That to my latest draught o' life the band shall ne'er 
remove — 
And this will be a posie to my ain dear May. 


Tune — ' Caledonian Hunt's Delight.' 

1 Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon, 

How can ye bloom sae fresh and fair ; 
How can ye chant, ye little birds, 

And I sae weary fu' o' care ! 
Thou 'It break my heart, thou warbling bird, 

That wantons through the flowering thorn ; 
Thou minds me o' departed joys, 

Departed — never to return. 

2 Oft hae I roved by bonnie Doon, 

To see the rose and woodbine twine; 

52 burns' poems. 

And ilka bird sang o' its luve, 
And fondlj sae did I o' mine. 

Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose, 
Fu' sweet upon its thorny tree ; 

And my fause luver stole my rose, 
But ah! he left the thorn wi' me. 


1 Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed, 

The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie ; 
Willie was a wabster guid, 

Could stown a clue wi' ony bodie; 
He had a wife was dour and din, 
Oh, tinkler Madgie was her mither — 
Sic a wife as Willie had, 
I wad na gie a button for her. 

2 She has an e'e — she has but ane. 

The cat has twa the very colour ; 
Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump, 

A clapper tongue wad deave a miller ; 
A whiskin' beard about her mou', 

Her nose and chin they threaten ither. 

3 She 's bow-hough'd, she 's heinshiun'd, 

Ae limpin' leg a hand-breed shorter ; 
She 's twisted right, she 's twisted left, 

To balance fair in ilka quarter : 
She has a hump upon her breast, 

The twin o' that upon her shouther. 

4 Auld baudrons by the ingle sits, 

An' wi' her loof her face a-washin' ; 


But Willie's v.'ife is nae sae trig, 

She diglits her grimzie wi' a hiishion ; 
Her walie nieves like midden-creels, 
Her face wad fjle the Logan Water — 
Sic a wife as AVillie had, 
I wad na gie a button for her. 


TuxE — ' Wandering Willie.* 

1 Ance mair I hail thee, thou gloomy December ! 

Ance mair I hail thee wi' sorrow and care ; 
Sad was the parting thou mak'st me remember, 

Parting wi' Nancy, oh ! ne'er to meet mair ! 
Fond lovers' parting is sweet, painful pleasure, 

Hope beaming mild on the soft parting hour ; 
But the dire feeling, oh ! farewell for ever. 

Is anguish unmiugled, and agony pure. 

2 Wild as the winter now tearing the forest. 

Till the last leaf o' the summer is flown, 
Such is the tempest has shaken my bosom, 

Since my last hope and last comfort is gone I 
Still as I hail thee, thou gloomy December, 

Still shall I hail thee wi' sorrow and care ; 
For sad was the parting thou mak'st me remember. 

Parting wi' Nancy,^ oh ! ne'er to meet mair. 

• ' Nancy : ' Clarimlii. 



Air—' The Sutors Bochter! 

1 Wilt tliou be mj dearie ? 

When sorrow wrings thj gentle heart 
Oh, wilt thou let me cheer thee ? 
Bj the treasure of my soul, 
And that 's the love I bear thee ! 
I swear and vow, that onlj thou 
Shall ever be mj dearie. 
Only thou, I swear and vow, 
Shall ever be my dearie. 

2 Lassie, say thou lo'es me ; 
Or if thou wilt na be my ain. 
Say na thou 'It refuse me : 

If it winna, canna be. 
Thou for thine may choose me ; 
Let me, lassie, quickly die, 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 
Lassie, let me quickly die, 
Trusting that thou lo'es me. 


Tune—' 81ie 'sfair andfause.' 
1 She 's fair and faiise that causes my smart, 
I lo'ed her meikle and Ian 2: : 
She's broken her vow, she 's broken my heart, 

And I may e'en gae hang. 
A coof came in wi' routh 0' ijear. 
And I hae tint my dearest dear, 
But woman is but warld's gear, 
Sae let the bounie lass iranir. 


2 Wliae'er ye be that woman love, 

To this be never blind — 
Nae ferlie 'tis though fickle she prove, 

A woman has 't by kind . 
Oh, woman lovely, woman fair ! 
An angel form 's fa'n to thy share, 
'Twad been o'er meikle to gien thee mair — 

I mean an angel mind. 

Tune — ' The Yellow-hair d Laddie.' 

1 Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes. 
Flow gently, I '11 sing thee a song in thy praise ; 
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream, 
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. 

2 Thou stock-dove, whose echo resounds through the glen, 
Ye wild whistling blackbirds in yon thorny den, 
Thou green-crested lapwing, thy screaming forbear, 

I charge you disturb not my slumbering fair, 

3 How lofty, sweet Afton, thy neighbouring hills. 
Far mark'd with the courses of clear M-inding rills ; 
Tliere daily I wander as noon rises high, 

My flocks and my Mary's sweet cot in my eye. 

4 How pleasant tlij^ banks and green valleys below, 
Where wild in the woodlands the primroses blow ! 
There oft as mild evening weeps over the lea. 
The sweet-scented birk shades my Mary and me. 

56 burns' poems. 

5 Thy crystal stream, Afton, how lovely it glides, 
And winds by the cot where my Mary resides; ^ 
How wanton thy waters her snowy feet lave, 

As, gathering sweet flowerets, she stems thy clear wave. 

6 Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, 
Flow gently, sweet river, the theme of my lays : 
My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream. 
Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream. 

Tune — ' Bonnie Bell' 

1 The smiling Spring comes in rejoicing, 

And surly Winter grimly flies : 
Now crystal clear are the falling waters. 

And bonnie blue are the sunny skies : 
Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morning, 

The evening gilds the ocean's swell ; 
All creatures joy in the sun's returning, 

And I rejoice in my bonnie Bell. 

2 The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer, 

And yellow Autumn presses near, 
Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter, 

Till smiling Spring again appear. 
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing. 

Old Time and Nature their changes tell, 
But never ranging, still unchanging 

I adore my bonnie Bell. 

' Dr Currie says, ' Afton Water is the stream on which stands Afton Lodge : 
to which Mrs Stewart removed from Stair. Afton Lodge was Mrs Stewart's 
property from her father. The song was presented to her in return for her 
notice, the first he ever received from any person in her rank of life.' 



TcjNE — ' The Weavers' March.' 

1 Where Cart ^ riiis rowiu' to the sea, 
Bj mony a flower and spreading tree, 
There lives a lad, the lad for me, 

He is a gallant weaver. 

2 Oh, I had wooers aucht or nine, 
Thej gied me rings and ribbons fine ; 
And I was fear'd my heart would tine, 

And I gied it to the weaver. 

3 My daddie sign'd my todier-band, 
To gie the lad that has the land ; 
But to my heart I '11 add my hand. 

And gie it to the weaver. 

4 While birds rejoice in leafy bowers ; 
While bees delight in opening flowers : 
While corn grows green in simmer showers, 

I '11 love my gallant weaver. 


Tune — 'Louis, what reck I by thee?' 

1 Louis, what reck I by thee. 
Or Geordie on his ocean \ 
Dyvour, beggar louns to me — 
I reign in Jeanie's bosom, 

' ' Cart : ' a river near Paisley, sung by Camijbell, and celebrated by 
Wilson, as well as by Burns. 

58 burns' poems. 

2 Let her crown my love her law, 
And in her breast enthrone me 
Kings and nations — swith, awa' ! 
Rief randies, I disown ye ! 


Tune — ' For the sake o' Somebody.' 

1 My heart is sair — I dare na tell — 

My heart is sair for somebody ; 
I could wake a winter night 
For the sake o' somebody. 
Oh-hon ! for somebody ! 
Oh-hey ! for somebody ! 
I could range the world around, 
For the sake o' somebody ! 

2 Ye Powers, that smile on virtuous love 

Oh, sweetly smile on somebody ! 
Frae ilka danger keep him free, 
And send me safe my somebody I 
Oh-hon ! for somebody ! 
Oli-hey ! for somebody ! 
I wad do — what wad I not 1 
For the sake o' somebody ! 

Tune — 'Hiss Forbes' Fareicell to Banff.' 

1 'Twas even — the dewy fields were green, 
On every blade the pearls hang ; 

' ' Eveiy reader of Burns remembers tlie circumstances Avliich led to this 
poem. Its lieroine, Miss Alexander, died unmarried in 1843. 


The zephyr \YantoD'd round the bean, 
And bore its fragrant sweets alang ; 

In every glen the mavis sang, 

All nature listening seem'd the while, 

Except where greenM'ood echoes rang, 
Amang the braes o' Ballochmyle. 

With careless step I onward stray'd. 

My heart rejoiced in Nature's joy. 
When, musing in a lonely glade 

A maiden fair I chanced to spy ; 
Her look was like the morning's eye, 

Her air like Nature's vernal smile, 
Perfection whisper'd passing by, 

Behold the lass o' Ballochmyle ! 

Fair is the morn in flowery May, 

And sweet is night in Autumn mild ; 
When roving through the garden gay. 

Or wandering in the lonely wild : 
But woman, Nature's darling child ! 

There all her charms she does compile ; 
Even there her other works are foil'd 

By the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle. 

Oh, had she been a country maid. 

And I the happy country swain ! 
Thouijh shelter'd in the low.cst shed 

That ever rose on Scotland's plain, 
Through weary Vvinter's wind and rain, 

With joy, with rapture, I would toil ; 
And nightly to my bosom strain 

The bonnie lass o' Ballochmvlc. 

60 burns' poems. 

5 Then pride might climb the slippery steep, 

Where fame and honours lofty shine ; 
And thirst of gold might tempt the deep, 

Or downward seek the Indian mine ; 
Give me the cot below the pine. 

To tend the flocks, or till the soil. 
And every day have joys divine. 

With the bonnie lass o' Ballochmyle. 

Tune — ' Lass of Inverness' 

1 The lovely lass o' Inverness, 

Nae joy nor pleasure can she see ; 
For e'en and morn she cries, alas ! 

And aye the saut tear blin's her e'e : 
Drumossie moor, Drumossie day, 

A waefu' day it was to me ; 
For there I lost my father dear— 

My father dear, and brethren three. 

2 Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay, 

Their graves are growing green to see ; 
And by them lies the dearest lad 

That ever bless'd.a woman's e'e ! 
Now wae to thee, thou cruel lord, 

A bluidy man, I trow, thou be ; 
For mony a heart thou hast made sair. 

That ne'er did wrong to thine or thee. 


Tune — ' O May, thy morn' 

1 May, thj morn was ne'er sae sweet 

As the mirk night o' December ; 
For sparkUng was the rosy wine, 

And private was the chamber : 
And dear was she I dare na name, 

But I will aye remember : 
And dear was she I dare na name, 

But I will aye remember ! 

2 And here 's to them, that, like oursel', 

Can push about the jorum ; 
And here 's to them that wish us weel. 

May a' that 's guid watch o'er them ! 
And here 's to them, we dare na tell. 

The dearest o' the quorum : 
And here 's to them, we dare na tell. 

The dearest o' the quorum ! 


Tune — ' III gang nae mair to yon Town! 

1 Oh, wat yc wha 's in yon town, 

Ye see the e'enin' sun upon ■? 
The fairest dame 's in yon town. 
That e'enin' sun is shining on. 

2 Now haply down yon gay green shaw, 

She wanders by yon spreading tree : 
How blest, ye flowers that round her bhiw. 
Ye catch the glances o' her e'e ! 

62 burns' poems. 

3 How blest, ye birds that round lier sing, 

x\nd welcome in the blooming year. 
And doubly welcome be the spring, 
The season to my Lucy dear ! 

4 The sun blinks blithe on yon town, 

And on yon bonnie braes of Ayr ; 
But my delight in yon town. 
And dearest bliss, is Lucy fair. 

5 Without my love, not a' the charms 

0' Paradise could yield me joy; 
But gie me Lucy in my arms. 

And welcome Lapland's dreary sky! 

6 My cave wad be a lover's bower. 

Though raging winter rent the air ; 
And she a lovely little flower. 

That I wad tent and shelter there. 

7 Oh, sweet is she in yon town. 

Yon sinkiu' sun 's gane down upon ; 
A fairer than 's in yon town, 

His setting beam ne'er shone upon. 

8 If angry fate is sworn my foe. 

And suffering I am doom'd to bear; 
I careless quit aught else below, 

But spare me — spare me Lucy dear! 

9 For while life's dearest blood is warm, 

Ae thought frae her shall ne'er depart, 
And she — as fairest is her form. 
She has the truest, kindest heart.^ 

/ The heroine of this song was Lucy Jolniston — married to Mr Oswald of 


Tune — ' Grahams Strathspey.' 

1 Oh, my liive 's like a red, red rose, 

That 's uewlj sprung in June : 
Ob, my luve 's like the melody, 

That 's sweetly play'd in tune. 
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass, 

So deep in luve am I : 
And I will luve thee still, my dear, 

Till a' the seas gang dry. 

2 Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear. 

And the rocks melt wi' the sun : 
I will luve thee still, my dear, 

While the sands o' life shall run. 
And fare thee weel, my only luve! 

And fare thee weel awhile! 
And I will come again, my luve, 

Though it were ten thousand mile. 


As I stood by yon roofless tower,^ 

"Where the wa'-flower scents the dewy air, 

Where th' howlet mourns in her ivy bower, 
And tells the midnight moon her care ; 


2 The winds were laid, the air was still, 
The stars they shot alang the sky; 
The fox was howling on the hill. 
And the distant-echoing glens reply. 

Aucliencruive, Ayrshire. She died of consumption at Lisbon, a year after the 
composition of the above song, in the prime of life. She is said to have been 
a most accoinpiished and beautiful woman.— ' 'Tower:' Linchulen Abbey. 

64 BUliNS' POEMS. 

3 The stream, adown its hazelly path, 

Was rushing by the ruin'd wa's, 
Hasting to join the sweeping Nith, 
Whase distant roaring swells and fa's. 

4 The cauld blue north was streaming forth 

Her lights, wi' hissing eerie din, 
Athort the lift they start and shift. 
Like fortune's favours, tint as win. 

5 By heedless chance I turn'd mine eyes. 

And by the moonbeam, shook to see 
A stern and stalwart ghaist arise. 
Attired as minstrels wont to be. 

6 Had I a statue been o' stane, 

His daring look had daunted me ; 
And on his bonnet graved was plain, 
The sacred posy — ' Liberty 1 ' 

7 iVnd frae his harp sic strains did flow, 

Might roused the slumbering dead to hear ; 
But oh ! it was a tale of woe, 
As ever met a Briton's ear ! 

8 He sang wi' joy the former day, 

He weeping wail'd his latter times ; 
But what he said it was nae play — 
I M'inna venture 't in my rliymes. 



1 Revered defender of beauteous Stuart, 
Of Stuart, a name once respected — 


A name, which to love was the mark of a true heart, 
But now 'tis despised and neglected. 

2 Though something like moisture conglobes in my ej^e, 

Let no one misdeem me disloyal ; 
A poor friendless wanderer may well claim a sigh. 
Still more, if that wanderer were royal. 

3 My fathers that name have revered on a throne ; 

My fathers have fallen to right it ; 
Those fatliers would spurn their degenerate son, 
That name should he scoffingly slight it. 

4 Still in prayers for King George I most heartily join, 

The Queen and the rest of the gentry ; 
Be they wise, be they foolish, is nothing of mine — 
Their title 's avow'd by my country. 

5 But why of that epocha make such a fuss. 

That gave us the Hanover stem ; 

If bringing them over was lucky for us, 

I 'm sure 'twas as lucky for them. 

6 But loyalty, truce ! we 're on dangerous ground. 

Who knows how the fashions may alter ? 
The doctrine, to-day, that is loyalty sound, 
To-morrow may bring us a halter ! 

7 I send you a trifle, a head of a bard, 

A trifle scarce worthy your care ; 
But accept it, good sir, as a mark of regard, 
Sincere as a saint's dying prayer. 

8 Now life's chilly evening dim shades on your eye, 

And ushers the long dreary night ; 

66 burns' poems. 

But you, like the star that ath\yart gilds the sky. 
Your course to the latest is bright. 


Tune — ' Caledonian Hunt's Delight' 

1 Tpiere was once a day — but old Time then was joung- 

That brave Caledonia, the chief of her line, 
From some of your northern deities sprung, 

(Who knows not that brave Caledonia's divine 1) 
From Tweed to the Orcades was her domain, 

To hunt, or to pasture, or do what she would : 
Her heavenly relations there fixed her reign, 

And pledged her their godheads to warrant it good. 

2 A lambkin in peace, but a lion in war, 

The pride of her kindred, the heroine grew : 
Her grandsire, old Odin, triumphantly swore, 

'Whoe'er shall provoke thee, th' encounter shall rue ! 
With tillage or pasture at times she would sport, 

To feed her fair flocks by her green rustling corn ; 
But chiefly the woods were her favourite resort. 

Her darling amusement, the hounds and the horn. 

3 Long quiet she reign'd ; till thitherward steers 

A flight of bold eagles ^ from Adria's strand ; 
Repeated, successive, for many long years. 

They darken'd the air, and they plunder'd the land ; 
Their pounces were murder, and terror their cry, 

They conquer'd and ruin'd a world beside ; 
She took to her hills, and her arrows let fly — 

The daring invaders they fled or they died. 

* ' Bold eagles : ' the Romans. 


4 The fell harpy-rayen took wing from the north, 

The scourge of the seas, and the dread of the shore ; ^ 
The wild Scandinavian boar ^ issued forth 

To wanton in carnage and wallow in gore : 
O'er countries and kingdoms their furj prevail'd. 

No arts could appease them, no arms could repel ; 
But brave Caledonia in vain thej assail'd. 

As Largs well can witness, and Loncartie tell.^ 

5 The cameleon-savage disturb'd her repose. 

With tumult, disquiet, rebellion, and strife ; 
Provoked beyond bearing, at last she arose. 

And robb'd him at once of his hopes and his life :^ 
The Anglian lion, the terror of France, 

Oft proM'ling, ensanguined the Tweed's silver flood ; 
But, taught by the bright Caledonian lance. 

He learned to fear in his own native wood. 

6 Thus bold, independent, unconquer'd, and free, 

Her bright course of glory for ever shall run : 
For brave Caledonia immortal must be ; 

I '11 prove it from Euclid as clear as the sun : 
Rectangle-triangle the figure we '11 choose, 

The upright is Chance, and old Time is the base : 
But brave Caledonia 's the hypothcnuse ; 

Then ergo, she '11 match them, and match them 

1 1 

Dread of the shore : ' the Saxons.— = ' Scandinavian boar : ' tlie Danes. 
— ' ' Largs and Loncartie : ' two famous battles in wliich the Danes or Nor- 
wegians were defeated,—'' The Picts. 

68 burns' poems. 



Kind sir, I 've read your paper through, 

And, faith, to me 'twas really new ! 

How guess'd ye, sir, what maist 1 wanted ? 

This mony a day I 've grain'd and gaiinted, 

To ken what French mischief was brewin'; 

Or what the drumlie Dutch were doiu' ; 

That vile doup-skelper. Emperor Joseph, 

If Venus yet had got his nose off ; 

Or how the collieshangie works 

Atweeu the Russians and the Turks ; lo 

Or if the Swede, before he halt, 

Would play anither Charles the Twalt : 

If Denmark, any body spak o't ; 

Or Poland, wha had now the tack o't ; 

How cut-throat Prussian blades were hingin'; 

How libbet Italy was singin'; 

If Spaniard, Portuguese, or Swiss, 

Were sayin' or takin' aught amiss : 

Or how our merry lads at hame. 

In Britain's court, kept up the game : 20 

How royal George — the Lord leuk o'er him ! — 

Was managing St Stephen's quorum ; 

If sleekit Chatham Will was livin', 

Or glaikit Charlie got his nieve in ; 

How daddie Burke the plea was cookin', 

If Warren Hastings' neck was yeukin', 

How cesses, stents, and fears were rax'd, 

Or if bare yet were tax'd ; 


The news o' princes, dukes, and enrls, 29 

Pimps, sharpers, bawds, and opera-girls ; 

If that daft buckie, Geordie AVales, 

Was threshin' still at hizzies' tails, 

Or if he was grown ougbtlins doiiser. 

And no a perfect kintry cooser. 

A' this and mair I never heard of ; 

And, but for yon, I might despair'd of ; 

So gratefu, back your news I send you, 

And pray, a' guid things may attend you ! 


Dear Peter, dear Peter, 

We poor sons of metre 
Are often negleckit, ye ken ; 

For instance, your sheet, man, 

(Though glad I 'm to see 't, man), 
I get it no ae day in ten. 


1 Hail, Poesie ! thou Nymph reserved ! 

In chase 0' thee, what crowds hae swerved 
Frae common sense, or sunk enerved 

'Mang heaps 0' clavers ; 
And, och ! owre aft thy joes hae starved, 

'Mid a' thy favours ! 

2 Say, lassie, why thy train amang, 
While loud the trump's heroic clang, 
And sock or buskin skclp alang 

To death or raarriaire, 
Scarce ane has tried the Shepherd-sang 
But wi' miscarriage ? 

70 burns' poems. 

3 In Homer's craft Jock Milton thriA^es ; 
Esclijlus' pen AVill Sliakspeare drives ; 
Wee Pope, the kuurlin', till him rives 

Iloratian fame ; 
In tlij sweet sang, Barbaiild, survives 
Even Sappho's flame. 

4 But thee, Theocritus, wha matches ? 
They 're no herd's ballats, Maro's catches ; 
Squire Pope but busks his skinklin' patches 

0' heathen tatters : 
I pass by hunders, nameless wretches, 
That ape their betters. 

5 In this braw age o' wit and lear. 
Will nane the Shepherd's whistle mair 
Blaw sweetly, in its native air 

And rural grace ; 
And wi' the far-famed Grecian share 
A rival place ? 

6 Yes ! there is ane — a Scottish callan ! 
There 's ane ; come forrit, honest Allan ? 
Thou need na jouk behint the hallan, 

A chiel sae clever ; 
The teeth o' Time may gnaw Tamtallan, 
But thou 's for ever. 

7 Thou paints auld Nature to the nines, 
In thy sweet Caledonian lines ; 

Nae gowden stream through myrtles twines, 

Where Philomel, 
While nightly breezes sweep the vines, 

Her griefs M'ill tell ! 


8 In gouanj glens thj biirnie strays, 
Where bonnie lasses bleach their claes : 
Or trots by hazelly shaws and braes, 

Wi' hawtliorns gray, 
Where blackbirds join the shepherd's lays, 
At close o' day. 

9 Thy rural loves are nature's sel' ; 
Nae bombast spates o' nonsense swell ; 
Nae snap conceits, but that sweet spell 

0' witchin' love, 
That charm that can the strongest quell, 
The sternest move. 



TuNE — ' Camei'onian Rant.' 

1 Oh, cam ye here the fight to shun. 

Or herd the sheep wi' me, man 1 
Or were ve at the Sherra-muir, 
And did the battle see, man ? ' 
' I saw the battle, sair and teugh, 
And reekin'-red ran mony a sheugh. 
My heart for fear gaed sough for sough. 
To hear the thuds, and see the cluds, 
0' clans frae woods, in tartan duds, 
Wha glaum'd at kingdoms three, man. 

2 ' The red-coat lads, wi' black cockades. 

To meet them were nae slaAv, man ; 
They rusli'd and push'd, and bluid outgush'd, 
And mony a bouk did fa, man : 

' This is founded on an old song bj' Barclay the Berean. 

^2 burns' poems. 

The great Argjlc led on his files, 
I wat thej glanced twenty miles : 
Thej hack'd and hasli'd, while broadswords clash'd, 
And through thej dash'd, and hew'd and smash'd, ' 
Till fej men died awa', man. 

3 ' But had jou seen the philabegs, 

And skjrin tartan trews, man, 
When in the teeth thej dared our Whigs, 
And Covenant true-blues, man ; 
In lines extended lang and large. 
When bajonets opposed the targe, 
And thousands hasten'd to the charge, 
Wi' Highland wrath thej frae the sheath 
Drew blades o' death, till, out o' breath, 
Thej fled like frighted doos, man.' 

4 ' Oh how deil, Tarn, can that be true ? 

The chase gaed frae the north, man : 
I saw mjsel', thej did pursue 

The horsemen back to Forth, man ; 
And at Dumblane, in mj ain sight, 
Thej took the brig wi' a' their might, 
And straught to Stirling wing'd their flight. 
But, cursed lot ! the gates were shut, 
And monj a huntit, poor red-coat. 
For fear ampist did swarf, man.' 

5 ' Mj sister Kate cam up the gate 
Wi' crowdie unto me, man ; 
She swore she saw some rebels run 
Frae Perth unto Dundee, man : 
Their left-hand general had nae skill. 
The Angus lads had nae good-will 


That day their neibours' blood to spill ; 
For fear, by foes, that they should lose 
Their cogs o' brose — all crying woes ; 
And so it goes you see, man. 

6 ' They Ve lost some gallant gentlemen 
Amang the Highland clans, man ; 

I fear my Lord Panmure is slain. 
Or fallen in Whiggish hands, man : 
Now wad ye sing this double fight, 
Some fell for wrang and some for right ; 
But mony bade the world guid-night ; 
Then ye may tell, how pell and mell, 
By red claymores, and muskets' knell, 
Wi' dying yell, the Tories fell, 

And Whicrs to hell did flee, man.' 



This day. Time winds th' exhausted chain, 
To run the twelvemonth's length again : 
I see the old, bald-pated fellow I 
With ardent eyes, complexion sallow. 
Adjust the unimpair'd machine. 
To wheel the equal, dull routine. 
The absent lover, minor heir, 
In vain assail him with tlieir prayer, 
Deaf as my friend, he sees them press, 
Nor makes the hour one moment less. lo 

Will you (the Major 's with the hounds, 
The happy tenants share his rounds ; 
Coila's fair Rachel's^ care to-day, 

' ' Rachel : ' this young lady was drawing a picture of Coila from ' Tiie 


And blooming Keith's engaged A^-ith Gray) h 
From housewife cares a minute borrow — 
That grandchild's cap will do to-morrow — 
And join with me a moralising, 
This day's propitious to be wise in. 

First, what did yesternight deliver ■? 
' Another year is gone for ever !' 20 

And what is this day's strong suggestion '? 
' The passing moment 's all we rest on ! ' 
Rest on — for what 1 what do we here 1 
Or why regard the passing year ? 
Will Time, amused with proverb'd lore, 
Add to our date one minute more ? 
A few days may — a few years must — 
Repose us in the silent dust. 
Then is it wise to damp our bliss 1 
Yes — all such reasonings are amiss ! 30 

The voice of Nature loudly cries, 
And manv a messaoje from the skies. 
That something in us never dies : 
That on this frail, uncertain state, 
Hang matters of eternal weight : 
That future life in worlds unknown 
Must take its hue from this alone ; 
Whether as heavenly glory bright. 
Or dark as misery's woful night. 
Since then, my honour'd, first of friends, 40 

On this poor being all depends ; 
Let us th' important notu employ, 
And live as those who never die. 
Though you, with days and honours crowu'd, 
Witness that filial circle round, 
(A sight life's sorrows to repulse, 
A sight pale Envy to convulse) 


Others now claim jour chief regard ; 48 

Yourself, you wait jour bright reward. 




Shrewd Willie Smellie to Crochallan^ came. 
The old cock'd hat, the gray surtout, the same, 
His bristling beard just rising in its might ; 
'Twas four long nights and days to shaving-night ; 
His uncomb'd grizzly locks wild staring, thatch'd 
A head for thought profound and clear unmatch'd ; 
Yet though his caustic wit was biting rude, 
His heart was warm, benevolent, and good. 


AVritten in Summer, 1795. 

Thou of an independent mind, 

With soul resolved, with soul resign'd ; 

Prepared Power's proudest frown to brave, 

Wlio wilt not be, nor have a slave ; 

Virtue alone who dost revere. 

Thy own reproach alone dost fear, 

Approach this shrine, and worship here. 

' ' Crocliallan : ' Mr Smellie and our poet were botii members of a club in 
Edinburgli, uniler tlie name of Crochallan Fencibles. 

76 burns' poems, 



APRIL 1794. 

1 No more, ye -warblers of the wood, no more ; 

Nor pour your descant, grating on my soul : 
Thou young-eyed Spring, gay in thy verdant stole — 
More welcome were to me grim Winter's wildest roar. 

2 How can ye charm, ye flowers, with all your dyes ? 

Ye blow upon the sod that wraps my friend ; 
How can I to the tuneful strain attend? 
That strain flows round the untimely tomb where Riddel 

3 Yes, pour, ye warblers, pour the notes of woe. 

And soothe the Virtues weeping on his bier ; 
The Man of Worth, and has not left his peer. 
Is in his narrow house for ever darkly low. 

4 Thee, Spring, again with joy shall others greet ; 

Me, memory of my loss will only meet ! 



1 How cold is that bosom which folly once fired ! 

How pale is that cheek where the rouge lately glisten'd 
How silent that tongue which the echoes oft tired ! 
How dull is that ear which to flattery so listen'd ! 

2 If sorrow and anguish their exit await, 

From friendship and dearest affection removed ; 

' ' Robert Riddel, Esq. : ' of Friars' Carse.— - Written on Mrs Riddel. 


How doubly severer, Eliza, thy fate, 

Thou diedst unwept, as thou livedst unloved ! 

3 Loves, Graces, and Virtues, I call not on you ; 

So shy, grave, and distant, ye shed not a tear : 
But come, all ye offspring of Folly so true, 
And flowers let us cull for Eliza's cold bier. 

4 We '11 search through the garden for each silly flower, 

We '11 roam through the forest for each idle weed ; 
But chiefly the nettle, so typical, shower. 

For none e'er approach'd her but rued the rash deed. 

5 We '11 sculpture the marble, we '11 measure the lay, 

Here Vanity strums on her idiot lyre ; 
There keen Indignation shall dart on her prey, 

Which spurning Contempt shall redeem from his ire. 


6 Here lies, now a prey to insulting neglect, 

What once was a butterfly, gay in life's beam : 
Want only of wisdom denied her respect, 
Want only of goodness denied her esteem. 


Feom those drear solitudes and frowsy ceils, 
Where infamy with sad repentance dwells ; 
Where turnkeys make the jealous portal fast, 
And deal from iron hands the spare repast, 
AVlicre truant 'prentices, yet young in sin, 
Blush at the curious stranger peeping in ; 
Where strumpets, 'relics of the drunken roar, 
Resolve to driuk, nay, half to whore no more; 


Where tiny thieves not destined jet to swing, 9 
Beat hemp for others, riper for the string : 
From these dire scenes my wretched lines I date, 
To tell Maria her Esopus' fate. 

' Alas ! I feel I am no actor here ! ' 
'Tis real hano;men, real scourges bear ! 
Prepare, Maria, for a horrid tale, 
AVill turn thy very rouge to deadly pale ; 
Will make thy hair, though erst from gipsy 

By barber woven, and by barber sold, 
Though twisted smooth with Harry^s nicest care. 
Like hoary bristles to erect and stare. 20 

The hero of the mimic scene, no more 
I start in Hamlet, in Othello roar ; 
Or haughty chieftain, 'mid the din of arms, 
In Highland bonnet w^oo Malvina's charms ; 
AYhile sans-culottes stoop up the mountain higli, 
And steal from me Maria's prying eye. 
Blest Highland bonnet ! once my proudest dress, 
Now prouder still, Maria's temples press, 
I see her wave thy towering plumes afar, 
And call each coxcomb to the wordy war ; 30 

I see her face the first of Ireland's sons,^ 
And even out-Irish his Hibernian bronze ; 
The crafty colonel^ leaves the tartau'd lines 
For other wars, where he a hero shines ; 
The hopeful youth, in Scottish senate bred, 
Who owns a Bushby's heart without the head, 
Comes 'mid a string of coxcombs to display. 
That Veni, vicU, vici, is his way ; 
The shrinkhig bard adown an alley skulks, 
And dreads a meeting worse than Woolwich hulks ; 

' ' first of Ireland's sons ; ' Gillespie. — ^ ' Crafty colonel : ' Colonel M'Dowal. 


Though there, his heresies in Church and State 41 

Might "well award him Muir and Palmer's fate : 

Still she undaunted reels and rattles on, 

And dares the public like a noontide sun. 

(AYhat scandal call'd Maria's jaunty stagger, 

The ricket reeling of a crooked swagger ; 

Whose spleen e'en worse than Burus's venom, when 

He dips in gall unmix'd his eager pen, 

And pours his vengeance in the burning line, 

AYho christen'd thus Maria's Ijre divine ; 50 

The idiot strum of vanity bemused, 

And even the abuse of poesy abused ; 

Who call'd her verse a parish workhouse, made 

For motley, foundling fancies, stolen or stray'd 1) 

A workhouse ! ah, that sound awakes my woes, 
And pillows on the thorn my rack'd repose I 
In durance vile here must I wake and weep, 
And all my frowsy couch in sorrow steep I 
That straAv where many a rogue has lain of yore. 
And vermin'd gipsies litter'd heretofore. 60 

Why, Lonsdale, thus thy wrath on vagrants pour ? 
Must earth no rascal save thyself endure 1 
Must thou alone in guilt immortal SM'ell, 
And make a vast monopoly of hell 1 
Thou kuow'st the Virtues cannot hate thee worse ; 
The Vices also, must they club their curse ? 
Or must no tiny sin to others fall, 
Because thy guilt 's supreme enough for all ? 

Maria, send me, too, thy griefs and cares ; 
In all of thee sure thy Esopus shares. 70 

As thou at all mankind the flag unfurls. 
Who on my ftiir one Satire's vengeance hurls ? 
Who calls thee pert, affected, vain coquette, 
A wit in folly, and a fool in wit 1 


Wlio says that fool alone is not thy due, 75 

And quotes thy treacheries to prove it true 1 

Our force united on tliy foes we '11 turn, 

And dare the war with all of woman born : 

For who can write and speak as thou and 1 1 

My periods that decyphering defy, 

And thy still matchless tongue that conquers all reply.^ 



1 GouDiE ! terror o' the Whiss, 
Dread o' black coats and reverend wigs, 
Sour Bigotry, on her last legs, 

Girnin', looks back, 
Wishin' the ten Egyptian plagues 

Wad seize you quick. 

2 Poor gapin', glowrin' Superstition, 
"Waes me, she 's in a sad condition ; 

Fie ! bring Black Jock, her state-physician, 

To see her water ; 

Alas ! there 's ground o' great suspicion 

She '11 ne'er get better. 

3 Auld Orthodoxy lang did grapple. 
But now she's got an unco ripple ; 
Haste, gie her name up i' the chapel, 

Nigh unto death ; 
See how she fetches at the thrapple, 

And gasps for breath ! 

' The Esopus of this satire was Williamson, an actor, and the Maria to 
whom it is addressed was JMrs Riddel. 


4 Enthusiasm 's past redemption, 
Gane in a gallopin' consumption, 

Not a' the quacks, M'i' a' their gumption, 

Will ever mend her, 

Her feeble pulse gie's strong presumption 

Death soon will end her. 

5 'Tis you and Taylor ^ are the chief 
Wha are to blame for this mischief ; 
But gin the Lord's ain folks gat leave, 

A toom tar barrel 
And twa red peats wad send relief, 

And end the quarrel. 




Sir, as your mandate did request, 
I send you here a faithfu' list, 
My horses, servants, carts, and graith, 
To which I 'm free to tak my aith. 

Imprimis, then, for carriage cattle, 
I hae four brutes o' gallant mettle, 
As ever drew before a pettle ; 
My han'-afore 's^ a guid auld has-been, 
And wight and wilfu' a' his days been ; 
My han'-ahin,^ a weel gaun filly, lo 

Wha aft has borne me safe frae Killie,'^ 
And your auld borough mony a time. 
In days when riding was nae crime — 

' 'Taylor:' Dr Taylor of Norwich.— ^ ' Ilan'-afore: ' the fore-liorsc on 
the left-hand in the plough.—' ' Ilan'-ahin : ' the hindmost on the left-hand 
in the plough. — ' ' Killie : ' Kilmarnock. 
VOL. H. F 

82 burns' poems. 

But ance, when in my wooing pride, i4 

I, like a blockhead, boost to ride. 
The wilfu' creature sae I pat to, 

(L , pardon a' my sins, and that too !) 

I play'd my filly sic a shavie, 

She 's a' bedeviU'd v,i the spavie. 

My fur-ahinV a wordy beast, 20 

As e'er in tug or tow was traced : 

The fourth 's a Highland Donald hastie, 

A d red-wud Kilburnie blastie ! 

Forby a cowte, of cowtes the wale. 
As ever ran afore a tail ; 
An' he be spared to be a beast, 
He '11 draw me fifteen pund at least. 

Wheel carriaoes I hae but few — 
Three carts, and twa are feckly new ; 
An auld wheel-barrow, mair for token, .30 

Ae leg and baith the trams are broken : 
I made a poker 0' the spin'le. 
And my auld mither brunt the trin'le. 
For men, I 've three mischievous boys, 
Run-deils for rantin' and for noise ; 
A gadsman ane, a thresher t' other. 
Wee Davoc bauds the nowte in fother. 
I rule them, as I ought, discreetly, 
And often labour them completely; 
And aye on Sundays, duly, nightly, 4o 

I on the questions targe them tightly, 
Till, faith, wee Davoc's grown sae gleg, 
Thougli scarcely langer than my leg. 
He '11 screed you aff Effectual Calling, 
As fast as ony in the dwalling. 

I 've nane in female servant station, 

' ' Fur-aliin' : ' tlie same on tlie right-luiud iu t'.ie plough. 


(Lord, keep me aye frae a' temptation !) 47 

I hae iiae wife, and that my bliss is, 

And je hae laid nae tax on misses ; 

Wi' weans I 'm raair than weel contented, 

Heaven sent me ane mair than I wanted ; 

Mj sonsie, smirking, dear-bought Bess, 

She stares the daddie in her face, 

Enough of ought ye like but grace ; 

But her, my bonnie, sweet, wee lady, 

I 've said enough for her already, 

And if ye tax her or her mither, 

By the L ! ye'se get them a' thegither. 

And now, remember, Mr Aiken, 

Nae kind of licence out I 'm takin' ; eo 

Through dirt and dub for life I '11 paidle, 

Ere I sae dear pay for a saddle ; 

I 've sturdy bearers, Gude be thankit ! 

My travel a' on foot I '11 shank it. 

The kirk an' you may tak you that. 
It puts but little in your pat ; 
Sae dinna put me in your book, 
Nor for my ten white shillings look. 

This list wi' my ain hand I 've wrote it, 
The day and date as under notit ; 70 

Then know, all ye whom it concerns, 
Subscripsi hu'ic, Robert Burks. 

Tune — ' The Deuh '5 dung o'er my Daddy! 

1 Nae gentle dames, though e'er sae fair. 
Shall ever be my ]\Iuse's care ; 
Their titles a' are empty show ; 
Gie me my Highland lassie, ! 

84 burns' poems. 


Within the glen sae bushy, ! 
Aboon the plain sae rushy, ! 
I set rae down wi' right good will 
To sing my Highland lassie, ! 

2 Oh, were yon hills and valleys mine, 
Yon palace and yon gardens fine ! 
The world then the love should know 
I bear my Highland lassie, ! 

3 But fickle fortune frowns on me, 
And I maun cross the raging sea ; 
But while my crimson currents flow, 
I '11 love my Highland lassie, ! 

4 Although through foreign climes I range, 
I know her heart will never change, 

For her bosom burns with honour's glow, 
Mv faithful Highland lassie, ! 

5 For her I '11 dare the billows' roar, 
For her I '11 trace a distant shore, 
That Indian wealth may lustre throw. 
Around my Highland lassie, 1 

6 She has my heart, she has my hand. 
By sacred truth and honour's band ! 
Till the mortal stroke shall lay me low, 
I 'm thine, my Highland lassie ! 

Farewell, the glen sae bushy, !, 
Farewell, the plain sae rushy, ! 


To other lands I now must go, 
To sing my Highland lassie, ! ^ 


ON MRS riddel's birthday, 4TH NOVEMBER 1793. 

1 Old Winter, with his frosty beard. 

Thus once to Jove his prayer preferr'd : — 
What have I done of all the year, 
To bear this hated doom severe "? 
My cheerless suns no pleasure know : 
Night's horrid car drags dreary, slow : 
My dismal months no joys are crowning, 
But spleeny English, hanging, drowning. 

2 Now, Jove, for once be mighty civil, 
To counterbalance all this evil ; 
Give me, and I 've no more to say, 
Give me Maria's natal day ! 

That brilliant gift will so enrich me, 
Spring, summer, autumn, cannot match me. 
'Tis done ! says Jove ; so ends my story, 
And Winter once rejoiced in glory. 


Tune — ' The Lass o' Livingstone.' 

1 On, wcrt thou in the cauld blast, 
On yonder lea, on yonder lea ; 
My plaidie to the angry airt, 

I 'd shelter thee, I 'd shelter thee : 

' This seems to hav<j been written on Iligliland Mary. 

86 burns' poems. 

Or did misfortune's bitter storms 

Around thee blaw, around thee blaw, 

Thj bield should be my bosom, 
To share it a', to share it a'. 

2 Or were I iu the wildest waste, 

Sae black and bare, sae black and bare, 
The desert were a paradise, 

If tliou wert there, if thou wert there : 
Or were I monarch o' the globe, 

Wi' thee to reign, wi' thee to reign — 
The brightest jewel in mj crown, 

AVad be my queen, wad be my queen. 



Thine be the volumes, Jessj fair. 
And with them take the poet's prayer; 
Tliat Fate may in her fairest page. 
With every kindliest, best presage 
Of future bliss enrol thy name : 
With native worth, and spotless fame, 
And wakeful caution still aware 
Of ill — but chief, man's felon snare ; 
All blameless joys on earth we find, 
And all the treasures of the mind — 
These be thy guardian and reward ; 
So prays thy faithful friend, the Bard. 

' ' Young lady : ' Miss Jessy Lewars, Dumfries. 




1 Sing on, sweet thriisli, upon tlie leafless bough, 

Sing on, sweet bird, I listen to thj strain ; 
See aged Winter, 'mid his surlj reign, 
At thy blithe carol clears his furrow'd brow. 

2 So in lone Poverty's dominion drear. 

Sits meek Content, with light unauxious heart. 
Welcomes the rapid moments, bids them part, 
Nor asks if thej bring ought to hope or fear, 

3 I thank thee. Author of this opening day ! 

Thou whose bright sun now gilds yon orient skies ! 
Riches denied, thy boon was purer joys, 
Yf hat wealth could never give nor take away ! 

4 Yet corae, thou child of poA^erty and care, 

The mite hiirh Heaven bestow'd, that mite with thee 
I '11 share. 



No more of your guests, be they titled or not, 
And cookery the first in the nation ; 

Who is proof to thy personal converse and wit, 
Is proof to all other temptation. 




Oh, had the in alt thy strength of mind, 
Or hops the flavour of thj wit; 

'Twere drink for first of human kind, 
A gift that e'en for Syme were fit. 

Tune — 'Push about the Jorum' 

APRIL 1795. 

1 Does haughty Gaul invasion threat "? 

Then let the loons beware, sir; 
There 's Avooden walls upon our seas, 

And volunteers on shore, sir. 
The Nith shall run to Corsincon, 

And Criffel sink in Solwaj', 
Ere we permit a foreign foe 

On British ground to rally I 

2 Oh, let us not, like snarling tykes, 

In wrangling be divided ; 
Till, slap, come in an unco loon 

And wi' a rung decide it. 
Be Britain still to Britain true, 

Amang oursel's united , 
For never but by British hands 

Maun British wrangs be righted. 

3 The kettle o' the Kirk and State 

Perhaps a clout may fail in 't ; 
But deil a foreign tinkler loun 
Shall ever ca' a nail in 't. 

POEM. , 89 

Our fathers' blood the kettle bought, 

And wha "wad dare to spoil it, 
By heaven, the sacrilegious dog 

Shall fuel be to boil it ! 

The wretch that M-ad a tyrant own, 

And the wretch, his true-born brother, 
Who 'd set the mob aboon the throne 

May they be damn'd together I 
Who will not sing, ' God save the King,' 

Shall hang as high 's the steeple ; 
But while we sing ' God save the King,' 

We '11 ne'er forget the People. 



1 Friend of the Poet, tried and leal, 
Wha, wanting thee, might beg or steal ; 
Alake, alake, the meikle deil, 

Wi' a' his witches, 
Are at it skelpin' jig and reel, 

In my poor pouches. 

2 I modestly fu' fain wad hint it. 
That one-pound-one I sairly want it : 
If wi' the hizzie down ye sent it. 

It would be kind ; 
And while my heart wi' life-blood duntcd, 
X I 'd bear 't in mind. 

3 So may the old year gang out moan in', 
To see the new come laden, groanin'. 


Wi' double plenty o'er the loauiii', 
To thee and thine; 

Domestic peace and comforts crownin' 
The hale design. 


4 Ye've heard this while how I 've been licket, 
And by fell Death was nearly nicket : 
Grim loun ! he gat me by the fecket, 

And sair me sheuk ; 
But by guid luck I lap a wicket, 

And turn'd a neuk. 

5 But by that health, I've got a share o't, 
And by that life, I'm promised mair o't, 
My ]]ale and weel I '11 take a care o 'fc 

A tentier way : 
Then farewell, Folly, hide and hair o't. 
For ance and aye ! 


1 The friend whom, wild from wisdom's way, 

The fumes of wine infuriate send ; 
(Not moony madness more astray) 
Who but deplores that hapless friend? 

2 Mine was th' insensate frenzied part, 

Ah ! why should I such scenes outlive 1 
Scenes so abhorrent to my heart, 
'Tis thine to pity and forgive ! 

POEil ON LIFE. 91 



1 My honour'd colonel, deep I feel 
Your interest in the Poet's weal ; 
Ah ! now sma' heart hae I to speel 

The steep Parnassus, 
Surrounded thus by bolus pill. 

And potion glasses. 

2 Oh, what a canty warld were it, 

Would pain, and care, and sickness spare it ; 
And fortune favour worth and merit, 

x\s they deserve : 
And aye a rowth roast beef and claret ; 

Syne, wha wad starve 1 

3 Dame Life, though fiction out may trick her, 
And in paste gems and frippery deck her ; 
Oh ! flickering, feeble, and uusicker, 

I 've found her still. 
Aye wavering like the willow wicker, 
'Tween good and ill. 

4 Then that curst carmagnole,^ auld Satan, 
Watches, like baudrons by a rattan, 
Our sinfu' saul to get a claut on, 

Wi' felon ire ; 
Syne, whip ! his tail ye '11 ne'er cast saut on — 
He 's off like fire. 

5 Ah, Nick ! ah, Nick ! it is na fair, 
First showing us the tempting ware, 

' ' Carmagnole : ' a Frencli Revolutionary iilfikiiainc. 


Bright wines and bonnie lasses rare, 
To put us daft ; 

Sjne weave, unseen, thj spider snare 
0' hell's damn'd waft. 

6 Poor man, the fij, aft bizzes by, 

And aft, as chance he comes thee nigh, 
Thj auld damn'd elbow yeuks wi' joy. 

And hellish pleasure ; 
Already in thy fancy's eye, 

Thy sicker treasure ! 

7 Soon, heels o'er gowdie, in he gangs. 
And like a sheep-head on a tangs. 
Thy girning laugh enjoys his pangs 

And murdering wrestle, 
As, danghng in the wind, he hangs 
A gibbet's tassel. 

S But lest you think I am uncivil. 

To plague you with this draunting drivel, 
Abjuring a' intentions evil, 

I quat my pen : 
The Lord preserve us frae the devil ! 

Amen ! Amen ! 


1 My curse upon thy venom'd stang. 
That shoots my tortured gums alang ; 
And through my lugs gies mony a twang, 

Wi' gnawing vengeance ; 
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang. 

Like racking engines ! 


2 When fevers burn, or ague freezes, 
Rheumatics gnaw, or cliolic squeezes, 
Our neighbour's sympathy may ease us, 

Wi' pitying moan ; 
But thee, thou hell o' a' diseases, 

Aye mocks our groan ! 

3 Adown my beard the slavers trickle, 

I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle. 
As round the fire the giglets keckle, 

To see me loup ; 
While, raving mad, I wish a heckle 

Were in their doup. 

4 0' a' the numerous human dools, 

111 har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools, 
Or worthy friends raked i' the mools. 

Sad sight to see ! 
The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools — 

Thou bear'st the gree. 

5 Where'er that place be priests ca' hell, 
Whence a' the tones o' misery yell. 
And ranked plagues their numbers tell, 

In dreadfu' raw, 
Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell 
Amang them a' ! 

G O thou grim mischief-making chiel. 
That gars the notes of discord squecl. 
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel 

In gore a shoe-thick ! 
Gie a' the facs o' Scotland's weal 

A towmond's toothache ! 



Tune — ' Morag' 

1 Oh, wha is slie that lo'es me, 
And has my heart a-keeping \ 
Oh, sweet is she that lo'es me, 
As dews o' simmer weeping, 
In tears the rosebuds steeping. 


Oh, that 's the lassie o' mj heart, 
My lassie ever dearer ; 

Oh, that 's the queen o' w^oman kind, 
And ne'er a ane to peer her. 

2 If thou shalt meet a lassie 

In grace and beauty charming, 
That e'en tliy chosen lassie, 

Erewhile thy breast sae warming, 
Had ne'er sic powers alarming: 

3 If thou hadst heard her talking, 

And thy attention's plighted. 
That ilka body talking, 

But her by thee is slighted ; 
And thou art all delighted : 

4 If thou hast met this fair one, 

When frae her thou hast parted. 
If every other fair one. 

But her, thou hast deserted, 
And thou art broken-hearted : 

Oh, that 's the lassie o' my heart, &c. 

MY Peggy's face. 95 


Tune — ' Jockey's tden the parting lass! 

1 Jockey 's ta'eu the parting kiss. 

O'er the mountains he is gane ; 
And with him is a' mj bhss, 

Nought but griefs with me remain. 

2 Spare mj luve, je winds that blaw, 

Plashy sleets and beating rain ! 
Spare my hive, thou feathery snaw, 
Drifting o'er the frozen plain ! 

8 Y/hen the shades of evening creep, 
O'er the day's fair, gladsome e'e, 
Sound and safely may he sleep. 
Sweetly blithe his waukening be ! 

4 He will think on her he loves, 
Fondly he '11 repeat her name ; 
For where'er he distant roves, 
Jockey's heart is still at hame. 

Tune — 'My Peggy s face! 

My Peggy's face, my Peggy's form. 
The frost of hermit age might warm ; 
My Peggy's worth, my Peggy's mind. 
Might charm the first of human kind. 
I love my Peggy's angel air, 
Ilcr face so truly, heavenly fair. 
Her native grace so void of art, 
But I adore my Peggy's heart. 

96 r burns' roEMs. 

2 The lily's hue, the rose's dye, 
The kindliug lustre of an eye ; 
Who but owns their magic swaj ! 
Who but knows they all decay I 
The tender thrill, the pitying tear. 
The generous purpose, nobly dear, 
The gentle look, that rage disarms- 
These are all immortal charms. 



=^ Tune — ' Sh- John Malcolm' 

1 Ken ye ought o' Captain Grose ? 
Igo and ago. 
If he 's amang his friends or foes I 
Irara, coram, dago. 

t4 Is he South, or is he North ? 
Igo and ago, 
Or drowned in the river Forth 1 
Iram, coram, dago. 

3 Is he slain by Highland bodies ? 
Igo and ago. 
And eaten like a \yether hajrgis ? 
Iram, coram, dago. 


4 Is he to Abram's bosom gane ? 
Igo and a£:o. 
Or haudin' Sarah by the wame \ 
Iram, coram, dago. 


5 Where'er he be, the Lord be near hira ! 

Igo and ago, 
As for the Deil, he daur na steer him, 
Iram, coram, dago. 

6 But please transmit th' enclosed letter, 

Igo and ago. 
Which will oblige jour humble debtor, 
Iram, coram, dago. 

7 So may ye hae auld stanes in store, 

Igo and ago, 
The very stanes that Adam bore, 
Iram, coram, dago. 

8 So may ye get in glad possession, 

Igo and ago, 
The coins o' Satan's coronation ! 
Iram, coram, dago. 




1 Sensibility, how charmincr t 

Thou, my friend, canst truly tell : 
But distress, with horrors arming, 
Thou hast also known too well ! 

2 Fairest flower, behold the lily. 

Blooming in the sunny ray : 
Let the blast sweep o'er the valley. 
See it prostrate on the clay. 

98 burns' poems. 

3 Hear the wood-lark charm the forest, 

Telling o'er his little joys ; 

Hapless bird ! a prey the surest, 

To each pirate of the skies. 

4 Dearly bought the hidden treasure, 

Finer feelings ca,n bestow ; 
Chords that vibrate sweetest pleasure, 
Thrill the deepest notes of woe. 



When death's dark stream I ferry o'er, 
A time that surely shall come ; 

In heaven itself, I '11 ask no more, 
Than just a Highland welcome. 


1 Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure. 

Scenes that former thoughts renew, 
Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, 
Now a sad and last adieu ! 

2 Bonnie Doon, sae sweet at gloamin', 

Fare thee weel, before I gang ! 

Bonnie Doon, whare, early roamin'. 

First I weaved the rustic sang ! 

3 Bowers, adieu ! whare love, decoying. 

First enthrall'd this heart o' mine ; 


There the saftest sweets enjoying — 
Sweets that mem'rj ne'er shall tvne ! 

4 Friends, so near mj bosom ever, 

Ye hae render'd moments dear, 
But, alas ! wlieu forced to sever, 
Then the stroke, oh, how severe ! 

5 Friends ! that parting tear reserve it, 

Though 'tis doubly dear to me ! 
Could I think I did deserve it, 
How much happier would I be ! 

6 Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, 

Scenes that former thouo;hts renew, 
Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, 
Now a sad and last adieu ! 


1 False flatterer, Hope, away ! 

Nor think to lure us as in days of yore : 
We solemnise this sorrowing natal day, 

To prove our loyal truth — we can no more ; 
And owning Heaven's mysterious sway, 
Submissive, low, adore. 

2 Ye honour'd mighty dead ! 

Who nobly perish'd in the glorious cause. 
Your King, your Country, and her Laws ! 

From great Dundee who, smiling, Victory led, 

100 burns' roEMS. 

And fell a martyr in her arms, 
(What breast of northern ice but warms !) 
To bold Balmerino's undying name, 
Whose soul of fire, lighted at Heaven's high flame. 
Deserves the proudest wreath departed heroes claim. 

3 Not unrevenged your fate shall be, 

It only lags the fatal hour ; 
Your blood shall with incessant cry 

Awake at last th' unsparing power ; 
As from the cliff, with thundering course, 

The snowy ruin smokes along, 
With doubUng speed and gathering force, 
Till deep it crashing whelms the cottage in the vale. 

So vengeance 



Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peace, 

That press the soul, or wring the mind with anguish. 

Beyond comparison the worst are those 

That to our folly or our guilt we owe. 

In every other circumstance, the mind 

Has this to say — ' It was no deed of mine!' 

But when to all the evil of misfortune 

This sting is added — 'Blame thy foolish self!' 

Or worser far, the pangs of keen remorse ; 

The torturing, gnawing consciousness of guilt — lo 

Of guilt, perhaps, where we 've involved others ; 

The young, the innocent, who fondly loved us, 

Nay, more, that very love their cause of ruin ! 

Oh, burning hell! in all thy store of torments, 


There 's not a keener lash ! is 

Lives there a man so firm, who, while his heart 

Feels all the bitter horrors of his crime, 

Can reason down its agonising throbs; 

And, after proper purpose of amendment, 

Can firmly force his jarring thoughts to peace 1 20 

Oh, happy! happy! enviable man! 

Oh, glorious magnanimity of soul ! 


An honest man here lies at rest. 
As e'er God with his image blest; 
The friend of man, the friend of truth, 
The friend of age, and guide of youth ; 
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd, 
Few heads with knowledge so informed: 
If there 's another world, he lives in bliss ; 
If there is none, he made the best of this. 


Thou, who kindly dost provide 

For every creature's want ! 
We bless thee, God of Nature wide, 

For all thy goodness lent : 
And, if it please thee, Heavenly Guide, 
■ May never worse be sent ; 
But whether granted, or denied, 

Lord, bless us with content ! 

Amen ! 



1 Thotj, in whom we live and move, 

Who mad'st the sea and shore ! 
Thj goodness constantly we prove, 
And, grateful, would adore. 

2 And if it please thee. Power above. 

Still grant us, with such store, 
The friend we trust, the fair we love ; 
And we desire no more. 


Some hae meat that canna eat, 
And some would eat that want it ; 

But we hae meat, and we can eat, 
Sae let the Lord be thankit. 


1 Hail, thairm-inspirin', rattlin' Willie! 
Though Fortune's road be rough and hilly 
To every fiddling, rhyming billie. 

We never heed. 
But tak it like the unback'd filly, 

Proud o' her speed. 

* ' The above epistle was addressed by Burns to the late Major Wm. Logan 
of Camlarg, whilst residing at Park House, near Ayr, brother of the Miss 
Logan, to whom the poet presented a copy of Beattie's ' Minstrel.' Major 
Logan was esteemed one of the first violin-players of his day. 


2 ^VTien idlj goavan whiles -we saunter, 
YiiT ! Fancy barks, awa' M^e canter, 
Up-liill, doNvn-brae, till some mislianter, 

Some black bog-liole, 
Arrests us ; tlien the scathe and banter 

We 're forced to thole. 

3 Hale be jour heart ! — hale be jour fiddle ! 
Lang maj jour elbuck jink and diddle, 

To cheer jou through the wearj widdle 

0' this Tile "warl' ; 

Until je on a cummock driddle, 

A graj-hair'd carl. 

4 Come wealth, come poortith, late or soon. 
Heaven send jour heart-strings aje in tune I 
And screw jour temper-pins aboon, 

A fifth or mair, 
The melancholious, lazj crown 

0' cankrie care ! 

5 Maj still jour life, from daj to daj, 
Nae ' lente largo' in the plaj, 

But 'allegretto forte,' gaj. 

Harmonious flow : 

A sweeping, kindling, bauld strathspej — 

Encore ! bravo ! 

6 A' blessin's on tlic checrie gang, 
Wha" dearlj like a jig or sang, 
And never think o' right and wrang 

Bj square and rule, 
But as the clegs o' feeling stang. 

Are wise or fool ! 

104 burns' poems. 

7 My haud-waled curse keep bard in chase, 
The harpj, hoodock, purse-proud race, 
Wha count on poortith as disgrace — 

Their tuneless hearts ! 
May fireside discords jar a base 

To a' their parts ! 

8 But come — your band, my careless brither, 
r th' tither warl', if there 's anither — 
And that there is, I 've little swither 

About the matter — 
We, cheek for chow, shall jog thegither ; 

I 'se ne'er bid better. 

9 We 've faults and failings — granted clearly ; 
We 're frail, backsliding mortals merely ; 
Eve's bonnie squad, priests wyte them sheerly 

For our grand fa' ; 
But still — but still — I like them dearly ! 

God bless them a' ! 

1 Ochon ! for poor Castalian drinkers, 
When they fa' foul o' earthly jinkers ! 
The witching, curst, delicious blinkers 

Hae put me hyte, 
And gart me weet my waukrife winkers 

Wi' girnin' spite. 

1 1 But, by yon moon ! — and that 's high swearin'- 
And every star within my hearin' ! 

And by her e'en, wha was a dear ane ! 

I '11 ne'er forget ! 
I hope to gie the jauds a clearin' 

In fair play yet. 


12 My loss I mourn, but not repent it, 
I '11 seek my pursie whare I tint it : 
Ance to the Indies I were wonted, 

Some cantrip hour, 
By some sweet elf I '11 yet be dinted. 

Then, vive I'amour ! 

13 Faites mes baisema'ms respedueuses 
To sentimental sister Susie, 

And honest Luckie ; no to roose you, 

Ye may be proud. 

That sic a 'iouple Fate allows ye 

To grace your blood. 

14 Nae mair at present can I measure, 

And, troth, my rhymin' ware 's nae treasure ; 
But when in Ayr, some half-hour's leisure, 

Be 't light, be 't dark, 
Sir Bard will do himsel' the pleasure 

To call at Park. 

Robert Burns. 

MOSSGIEL, ZOth October 1786, 


SEPTEMBER 13, 1785. 

1 GuiD speed and furder to you, Johnnie, 
Guid health, hale ban's, and weather bounie ; 
Now when ye 're nickan down fu' canny 

The staff o' bread, 
May ye ne'er want a stoup o' bran'y 
To clear your head ! 

2 May Boreas never thrash your rigs. 
Nor kick your ricklcs aff their legs, 


Sendiii' the stuff o'er muirs and ha^s, 
Like drivin' ^-rack ; 

But may the tapmast grain that wags 
Come to the sack ! 

3 I 'm bizzie too, and skelpin' at it, 

But bitter, daudin' showers hae wat it, 
Sae mj auld stumpie pen I gat it, 

Wi' muckle wark, 
And took my jokteleg and whatt it, 

Like onj clark. 

4 It 's now twa month that I 'm jour debtor. 
For jour braw nameless, dateless letter, 
Abusin' me for harsh ill nature 

On holj men, 
While deil a hair joursel' je 're better, 
But mair profane. 

5 But let the kirk-folk ring their bells, 
Let 's sing about our noble sel's ; 

We '11 crj nae jauds frae heathen hills, 
To help, or roose us, 

But browster wives and whisky stills, 
Thej are the Muses. 

6 Your friendship, sir, I winna quat it. 
And, if je mak objections at it, 

Then han' in nieve some day we '11 knot it, 
And witness take, 

And when wi' usquebae we 've wat it. 
It winna break. 

7 But if the beast and branks be spared 
Till kje be gaun without the herd, 


And a' the vittel in the yard, 

An' theekit right, 
I mean jour ingle-side to guard 

Ae winter night. 

8 Then Muse-inspirin' aqua-vita^ 

Shall make us baith sae blithe and witty, 
Till ye forget ye 're auld and gatty. 

And be as canty. 
As ye were nine year less than thretty, 

Sweet ane an' twenty 1 

9 But stooks are coupit wi' the blast. 
And now the sin keeks in the west. 
Then I maun rin amansf the rest 

And quat my chanter ; 
Sae I subscribe mysel' in haste, 

Yours, Rab the Rantek. 



September 17, ITSf). 

1 While at the stook the shearers cower 
To shun the bitter blaudin' shower, 
Or in gulravage rinnin' scower, 

To pass the time, 
To you I dedicate the hour 

In idle rhyme. 

' ' Rev. John M'Math : ' assistant to tlie Rev. Peter Woodrow of Tarbolton. 
He fell into dissipated habits, and either resigned his ciiarge or was deposed. 
Tie afterwards enlisted as a common soldier in the army. 

108 burns' poems. 

2 Mj Miisie, tired wi' mony a sonnet, 

On gown, and ban', and douse black bonnet, 
Is grown right eerie now she 's done it, 

Lest thej should blame her. 
And rouse their holj thunder on it, 

And anathem her. 

3 I own 'twas rash, and rather hardy, 
That I, a simple, country bardie. 
Should meddle wi' a pack sae sturdy, 

Wha, if they ken me, 
Can easy, wi' a single wordie, 

Loose hell upon me. 

4 But I gae mad at their grimaces, 
Their sighin', cautin', grace-proud faces, 
Their three-mile prayers, and hauf-mile graces, 

Their raxin' conscience, 
Whase greed, revenge, and pride disgraces 
Waur nor their nonsense. 

5 There 's Gawn,^ misca't waur than a beast, 
\yha has mair honour in his breast 

Than mony scores as guid 's the priest 
Wha sae abused him. 

And may a bard no crack his jest 

What way they \e used him 1 

6 See him, the poor man's friend in need. 
The gentleman in word and deed, 
And shall his fame and honour bleed 

By worthless skellums, 
And not a Muse erect her head 

To cowe the blellums ? 

' ' Gawn : ' Gaviu Hamilton, Esq. 


7 Pope ! had I thy satire's darts, 
To gie the rascals their deserts, 

I 'd rip their rotten, hollow hearts. 

And tell aloud, 
Their jugglin', hocus-pocus arts, 

To cheat the crowd. 

8 God knows, I 'm no the thing I should be, 
Nor am I even the thing I could be, 

But twenty times I rather would be 

An atheist clean, 
Than under gospel colours hid be, 

Just for a screen. 

9 An honest man may like a glass, 
An honest man may like a lass. 
But mean revenge and malice fause, 

He il still disdain, 

And then cry zeal for gospel laws, 

Like some we ken. 

1 They take religion in their mouth ; 
They talk o' mercy, grace, and truth ; 
For what "? — to gie their malice skouth 

On some puir wight, 
And hunt him down, o'er right and ruth. 

To ruin straight. 


11 All hail, Religion ! maid divine ! 
Pardon a Muse sae mean as mine, 
Who in her rough imperfect line 

Thus daurs to name thee 
To stigmatise false friends of thine, 

Can ne'er defame thee. 

no burns' POEMS. 

12 Though blotch't and foul wi' monj a stain, 
And far unworthy of thy train, 

With trembling voice I tune my strain 
To join with those, 

Who boldly dare thy cause maintain 
In spite of foes : 

13 In spite o' crowds, in spite o' mobs. 
In spite of undermining jobs, 

In spite of dark banditti stabs 

At worth and merit, 

By scoundrels, even wi' holy robes, 
But hellish spirit. 

14 Ayr! my dear, my native ground! 
Within thy presbyterial bound 

A candid, liberal band is found 

Of public teachers, 

As men, as Christians too, renown'd, 
And manly preachers. 

1 5 Sir, in that circle you are named ; 
Sir, in that circle you are famed ; 

And some, by whom your doctrine 's blamed, 
(Which gies you honour) 

Even, sir, by them your heart 's esteem'd, 
x\nd winning manner. 

16 Pardon this freedom I have ta'en, 
And if impertinent I 've been. 
Impute it not, good sir, in ane 

Whase heart ne'er wrang'd ye, 
But to his utmost would befriend 

Ought that belang'd ye. 



1 Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell, 
Wha, as it pleases best thjsel'. 

Sends ane to heaven, and ten to hell, 
A' for thj glorj, 

And no for onj giiid or ill 

Thej 've done afore thee ! 

2 I bless and praise thj matchless might, 
Whan thousands thou hast left in night. 
That I am here afore thy sight. 

For gifts and grace, 
A burnin' and a shinin' light 

To a' this place. 

3 What was I, or mj generation, 
That I should get such exaltation, 
I wha deserve sic just damnation 

For broken laws. 
Five thousand years Tore my creation, 
Through Adam's cause! 

4 When frae my mither's womb I fell, 
Thou might hae plunged me in hell, 
To gnash my gums, to weep and wail. 

In burnin' lake, 
Whare damned devils roar and yell, 
Chain'd to a stake. 

5 Yet I am here, a chosen sample. 

To show thy grace is great and ample ; 

' Holy Willie : ' William Fisher, a hypocritical elder in Mauchline. 

112 burns' poems. 

I 'm here a pillar in thy temple, 
Strong as a rock, 

A guide, a buckler, and example 
To a' thy flock. 

6 L — d ! thou kens what zeal I bear, 
When drinkers drink, and swearers swear, 
And singin' there, and dancin' here, 

Wi' great an' sma'; 
For I am keepit by thy fear, 

Free frae them a'. 

7 But yet, L — d ! confess I must. 
At times I 'm fash'd wi' fleshly lust, 
And sometimes, too, wi' warldly trust 

Vile self gets in ; 
But thou remembers we are dust, 
Defiled in sin. 

8 L — d! yestreen, thou kens, wi' Meg — 
Thy pardon I sincerely beg. 

Oh ! may 't ne'er be a livin' plague, 
To my dishonour. 

And I '11 ne'er lift a lawless leg 
Again upon her. 

9 Besides, I farther maun avow, 

Wi' Leezie's lass, three times, I trow ; 
But^ L — d ! that Friday I was fou, 

When I came near her. 
Or else, thou kens, thy servant true 

Wad ne'er hae steer'd her. 

10 Maybe thou lets this fleshly thorn 
Beset thy servant e'en and morn. 

HOLY Willie's prayer. 113 

Lest he owre high and proud should turn, 
'Cause he 's sae gifted ; 

If sae, thj han' maun e'en be borne, 
Until thou lift it. 

1 1 L — d, bless thy chosen in this place, 
For here thou hast a chosen race ; 

But G — d confound their stubborn face, 
And blast their name, 

Wha bring thy elders to disgrace, 
And public shame. 

1 2 L — d ! mind Gawn Hamilton's deserts, 
He drinks, and swears, and plays at cartes. 
Yet has sae mony takin' arts, 

AVi' grit and sma', 
Frae G — d's ain priests the people's hearts 
He steals awa'. 

13 And when we chasten'd him therefor, 
Thou kens how he bred sic a splore, 
As set the warld in a roar 

0' laughin' at us : — 
Curse thou his basket and his store, 
Kail and potatoes. 

1 4 L — d, hear my earnest cry and prayer. 
Against that Presbyt'ry of Ayr ; 

Thy strong right hand, L — d, make it bare, 

Upo' their heads, 
L — d, weigh it down, and dinna spare, 

For their misdeeds. 

15 L — d my G — d! that glib-tongucd Aiken, 
lly very heart and saul are quakin', 


114 burns' poems. 

To think how I sat sweatin', shakin', 
And p — d wi' dread, 

While Auld wi' hiugiu' lip gaed snakin', 
And hid his head. 

16 L — d, in the day of vengeance try him, 
L — d, visit them wha did employ him, 
And pass not in thy mercy by 'em, 

Nor hear their prayer ; 
But for thy people's sake destroy 'em, 
And dinna spare. 

17 But, L — d, remember me and mine 
Wi' mercies temporal and divine, 
That I for gear and grace may shine, 

Excell'd by nane. 
And a' the glory sliall be thine, 
Amen ! Amen ! 


1 Heee Holy Willie's sair-worn clay 

Taks up its last abode ; 
His saul has ta'en some other way, 
I fear the left-hand road. 

2 Stop ! there he is, as sure 's a gun, 

Poor silly body, see him ; 
Nae wonder he 's as black 's the grun' 
Observe wha 's standing wi' him. 

3 Your brunstane devilship, I see, 

Has got him tlicre before ye ; 
But hand vour nine-tail cat a wee. 
Till ance ye 've heard my story. 

THE kiek's alarm. 115 

4 Your pity I will not implore, 

For pitj ye bae nane ! 
Justice, alas ! has gi'en him o'er. 
And Mercy's day is gane. 

5 But hear me, sir, deil as ye are, 

Look something to your credit ; 
A coof like him would stain your name. 
If it were kent ye did it. 



1 Orthodox, orthodox, wha believe in John Knox, 

Let me sound an alarm to your conscience ; 
There 's a heretic blast has been blawn i' the wast, 
That what is no sense must be nonsense. 

2 Dr Mac,^ Dr Mac, you should stretch on a rack, 

To strike evil-doers wi' terror ; 
To join faith and sense upon ony pretence, 
Is heretic, damnable error. 

3 Town of Ayr, town of Ayr, it was mad, I declare, 

To meddle wi' mischief a-brewin' ; 
Provost John is still deaf to the Church's relief. 
And orator Bob^ is its ruin. 

4 D'rymple mild,^ D'rymple mild, though your heart 's 

like a child, 
And your life like the new-driven snaw, 
Yet that winna save ye, auld Satan must have ye, 
For preaching that three 's anc and twa. 

' ' The Kiik'3 Alarm : ' this poem was written a siiort time after the publica- 
tion of Dr M^Gill's Essay, and has reference to the polemical warfare which 
it excited.— 2 ' Dr Mac : ' Dr M'Gill.— ' ' Orator Bob : ' Robert Aiken.— 
* ' D'rymple mild : ' Dr Dalrymple. 

116 burns' poems. 

5 Rumble John,! Rumble Joliu, mount the steps wi' a 

Cry, the book is \fi heresy cramm'd ; 
Then lug out your ladle, deal brimstone like adle, 
And roar every note of the damn'd, 

6 Simper James,^ Simper James, leave the fair Killie 

There 's a holier chase in your view ; 
I '11 lay on your head, that the pack ye '11 soon lead, 
For puppies like you there 's but few. 

7 Singet Sawney,^ Singet Sawney, are ye hoording the 

Unconscious what evils await 1 
Wi' a jump, yell, and howl, alarm every soul, 
For the foul thief is just at your gate. 

8 Daddy Auld,^ Daddy Auld, there 's a tod in the fauld, 

A tod meikle waur than the Clerk ; ^ 
Though ye downa do skaith, ye '11 be in at the death, 
And gif ye canna bite, ye may bark. 

9 Davie Bluster,^ Davie Bluster, if for a saint ye do 

The corps is no nice of recruits ; 
Yet to worth let's be just, royal blood ye might boast, 
If the ass was the king of the brutes. 

10 Jamie Goose,^ Jamie Goose, ye ha'e made but toom 

In hunting the wicked Lieutenant ; 

1 I 

Rumble John : ' Mr Russell.—^ ' Simper James : ' Mr M'Kinlay.— 
* ' Singet Sawney : ' Mr Mcody.— * ' Daddy Auld : ' Mr Auld, Mauchliue.— 
5 ' Clerk : ' Mr Gavin Hamilton.— « ' Davie Bluster : ' Mr Grant, Ochiltree.— 
" ' Jamie Goose : ' Mr Youn^ :, Cumnock. 

THE kirk's alarm. 117 

But the Doctor 's your mark, for the Lord's halj ark 
He has cooper'd and ca 't a wrang pin in 't. 

1 1 Poet Willie,^ Poet Willie, gie the Doctor a volley, 

Wi' your 'liberty's chain' and your wit ; 
O'er Pegasus' side ye ne'er laid a stride, 

Ye but smelt, man, the place where he sh — t. 

12 Andro Gouk,^ Andro Gouk, ye may slander the book, 

And the book not the waur, let me tell ye ; 
Ye are rich and look big, but lay by hat and wig. 
And ye '11 hae a calf's head o' sma' value. 

13 Barr Steenie,^ Barr Steenie, M^hat mean ye 1 what 

mean yel 
If ye '11 meddle nae mair wi' the matter. 
Ye may hae some pretence to havins and sense, 
Wi' people wha ken ye nae better. 

14 Irvine-side,* Irvine-side, wi' your turkey-cock pride, 

Of manhood but sma' is your share ; 
Ye 've the figure, 'tis true, even your faes will allow. 
And your friends they dare grant you nae mair. 

15 Muirland Jock,^ Muirland Jock, when the Lord 

makes a rock 
To crush Common Sense for her sins, 
If ill-manners were wit, there 's no mortal so fit 
To confound the poor Doctor at ance. 

IG Holy Will,6 Holy Will, there was wit i' your skull, 
When ye pilfcr'd the alms o' the poor ; 

•'Poet Willie:' Mr Peebles, Ayr.— -' Andro Gouk:' Dr A. Jlitciiell.— 
» ' Barr Steenie:' Mr Stephen Young, P>arr.— ■• ' Irvine-side:' Mr Smith, 
Galston.— ' ' Muirland Jock : ' Mr Shepherd.—" ' Holy Will : ' Holy Willie. 

118 burns' poems. 

The timmer is scant, when ye 're ta'en for a saint, 
Wha should swing in a rape for an hour. 

1 7 Calvin's sous, Calvin's sons, seize your spiritual guns, 

Ammunition you never can need ; 
Your hearts are the stuff, will be powther enough, 
And your skulls are storehouses o' lead. 

1 8 Poet Burns, Poet Burns, wi' your priest-skelping turns. 

Why desert ye your auld native shire 1 
Your Muse is a gipsy, e'en though she were tipsy, 
She cou'd ca' us nae waur than we are. 


1 Oh, a' ye pious godly flocks, 
Weel fed on pastures orthodox, 
Wha now will keep you frae the fox. 

Or worrying tykes. 
Or wha will tent the waifs and crocks. 

About the dykes 1 

2 The twa best herds in a' the wast, 
That e'er gae gospel horn a blast. 
These five-and-twenty simmers past. 

Oh ! dool to tell, 
Hae had a bitter black outcast 

Atween themsel'. 

3 Oh, Moody, man, and wordy Russell, 
How could you raise so vile a bustle ? 

Ye '11 see how New-Light herds will whistle, 

And think it fine ! 

' ' Twa herds : ' the two herds or pastors were Mr Moodj', mhiistcr of 
Riccartoun, and that favourite victim of Burns, John Russell, then minister at 
Kilmarnock, and afterwards of Stirling. This was the first of Burns' produc- 
tions that saw the liglit ; it was founded on a dispute — subject inicertain 
— between the two divines. 


The Lord's cause ne'er gat sic a twistle, 

Sill' I liae min'. 

4 Oh, sirs ! wha e'er wad hae expeckit, 
Your duty ye wad sae negleckit, 

Ye wha were ne'er by lairds respeckit, 

To wear the plaid, 

But by the brutes themselves eleckit, 

To be their guide. 

5 What flock wi' Moody's flock could rank, 
Sae hale and hearty every shank! 

Nae poison'd sour Arminian stank 

He let them taste, 

Frae Calvin's well aye clear they drank — 

Oh sic a feast ! 

6 The thummart, wil'-cat, brock, and tod, 
Weel kenn'd his voice through a' the wood, 
He smelt their ilka hole and road, 

Baith out and in, 
And weel he liked to shed their bluid. 

And sell their skin. 

7 What herd like Russell tell'd his tale 1 

His voice was heard through muir and dale. 
He kenn'd the Lord's sheep, ilka tail, 

O'er a' the height. 
And saw gin they were sick or hale, 

At the first sight. 

8 He fine a mangy sheep could scrub. 
Or nobly fling the gospel club. 

And New-Light herds could nicely drub, 

Or pay their skin ; 

120 burns' poems. 

Could shake tbem o'er the burning dub, 

Or heave them in. 

9 Sic twa — oh ! do I Hve to see 't ! — 
Sic famous twa should disagree % 
And names like ' villain,' ' hypocrite,' 

Ilk ither gi'en, 
While New-Light herds, wi' laughin' spite, 

Say neither's liein' 1 

10 A' ye wha tend the gospel fauld. 

There 's Duncan, deep, and Peebles, shaul, 
But chiefly thou, Apostle Auld, 

We trust in thee. 
That thou wilt work them, liot and cauld, 

Till they agree. 

1 1 Consider, sirs, how we 're beset. 
There 's scarce a new herd that we get. 
But comes frae 'mang that cursed set 

I winna name ; 
I hope frae heaven to see them yet 

In fiery flame ! 

12 Dalrymple has been lang our fae, 
M'Gill has wrought us meikle wae, 
And that cursed rascal ca'd M'Quhae, 

And baith the Shaws, 
That aft hae made us black and blae, 

Wi' vengefu' paws. 

13 Auld Wodrow lang has hatch'd mischief, 
We thought aye death would bring relief. 
But he has gotten, to our grief, 

Ane to succeed him, 


A cliiel "wball soundly buff our beef; 

I meikle di-ead liim.^ 

14 And monj a ane that I could tell, 
Wha fain would openlj rebel, 
Forbj turn-coats aniang oursel', 

There 's Smith for ane, 
I doubt he 's but a gray-nick quill. 

And that ye '11 fin'. 

15 Oh ! a' ye flocks o'er a' the hills. 

By mosses, meadows, moors, and fells, 
Come, join your counsel and yom' skills, 

To cow the lairds. 
And get the brutes the power themsel's 

To choose their herds. 

1 6 Then Orthodoxy yet may prance. 
And Learning in a woodie dance, 
And that fell cur ca'd Common Sense, 

That bites sae sair, 
Be banish'd o'er the sea to France : 

Let him bark there. 

1 7 Then Shaw's and D'rymple's eloquence, 
M'G ill's close nervous excellence, 
M'Quhae's pathetic manly sense, 

And guid M'Math, 
AYi' Smith, wha through the heart can glance, 

^lay a' pack aff. 

' ' Dread him : ' alluding to the Rev. Mr M'Math, mentioned above. 

122 burns' poems. 



1 AuLD chuckle Reekie 's ^ sair distress'd, 
Down droops her ance weel-biirnish'd crest, 
Nae joy her bonnie buskit nest 

Can yield ava, 
Her darling bird that she lo'es best — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

2 Oh, Willie was a witty wight, 
And had o' things an unco slight ; 
Auld Reekie aye he keepit tight, 

And tris; and braw : 
But now they '11 busk her like a fright — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

3 The stiffest o' them a' he bow'd ; 
The bauldest o' them a' he cow'd ; 
They durst na mair than he allow'd, 

That was a law : 
We 've lost a birkie weel worth gowd — 

Willie 's awa' 1 

4 Now gawkies, tawpies, gowks, and fools, 
Frae colleges and boarding-schools, 
May sprout like simmer puddock-stools, 

In glen or shaw ; 
He wha could brush them down to mools, 

Willie 's awa' ! 

5 The brethren o' the Commerce-chaumer ^ 
May mourn their loss w' doolfu' clamour, 

' ' Reekie : ' Edinburgh.— '^ ' Commerce-chaumer : ' the Chamber of Com- 
merce of Edinburgh, of wliich Mr C. was secretary. 


He was a dictionar' and grammar 
AmaDg them a' ; 

I fear they '11 now mak monj a stammer — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

6 Nae mair we see liis levee door 
Philosophers and Poets pour, 
And toothy critics bj the score, 

In bloody raw ! 
The adjutant o' a' the core — 

Willie's awa'! 

7 Now worthy Gregory's Latin face, 
Tytler's and Greenfield's ^ modest grace ; 
Mackenzie, Stuart, sic a brace 

As Rome ne'er saw ; 
They a' maun meet some ither place — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

8 Poor Burns, e'en Scotch drink canna quicken, 
He cheeps like some bewilder'd chicken 
Scared frae its minnie and the cleckin' 

By hoodie-craw ; 

Grief's gien his heart an unco kickin' — 

Willie's awa' ! 

9 Now every sour-mou'd girnin' blellum — 
And Calvin's folk, are fit to fell him ; 
And self-conceited critic skellum 

His quill may draw ; 
He wha could brawly ward their blellum — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

10 Up wimpling stately Tweed I 've sped, 
And Eden scenes on crystal Jed, 

' ' Greenfield : ' a Professor of Rhetoric, wlio fleil Etlinburf?h owing to a dire 
fama, and was said long after this to be the author of tlie AVaverley Novels ! 

124 burns' poems. 

And Ettrick banks now roaring red, 

While tempests blaw ; 

But every joj and pleasure 's fled — 

Willie 's awa' ! 

11 May I be slander's common speech ; 
A text for infamy to preach ; 

And lastly, streekit out to bleach 

In winter snaw, 

When I forget thee, Willie Creech, 

Though far awa'! 

12 May never wicked fortune touzle him ! 
May never wicked men bamboozle him ! 
Until a pow as auld 's Methusalem 

He canty claw! 
Then to the blessed New Jerusalem, 

Fleet wing awa' ! 

(recommending a boy.) 

MossGiEL, Mmj 3, 1786. 

1 I HOLD it, sir, my bounden duty 
To warn you how that Master Tootie,^ 

Alias, Laird M'Gaun, 
Was here to hire yon lad away 
'Bout whom ye spak the tither day, 

And wad hae don 't aflp han' : 
But lest he learn the callan tricks. 

As, faith, I muckle doubt him, 
Like scrapin' out auld crummie's nicks 

And tellin' lies about them ; 

' ' Master Tootie : ' then lived in Mauchline ; a dealer in cows. It was 
his practice often to cut the nicks or markings from the horns of cattle, to 
disguise their age. 


As lieve, then, I 'd have, then, 
Your clerkship he should sair. 

If sae be, je may be, 
Not fitted otherwhere. 

2 Although I saj't, he 's gleg enough, 
And, 'bout a house that 's rude and rough. 

The boy might learn to swear ; 
But. then wi' you he'll be sae taught, 
And get sic fair example straught, 

I have nae ony fear. 
Ye '11 catechise him every quirk. 
And shore him weel wi' hell ; 
And gar him follow to the kirk — 
Aye when ye gang yoursel'. 

If ye, then, maun be, then, 

Frae hame this comin' Friday; 
Then please, sir, to lea'e, sir. 
The orders wi' your lady. 

3 My word of honour I hae gi'en. 

In Paisley John's, that night at e'en, 

To meet the M^arld's worm ; 
To try to get the twa to gree, 
And name the airles and the fee, 

In legal mode and form : 
I ken he M^eel a sneck can draw, 
When simple bodies let him ; 
And if a Devil be at a', 

In faith he 's sure to get him. 

To phrase you, and praise you, 

Ye ken your Laureate scorns ; 
The prayer still, you share still, 
Of grateful Minstijel Burns. 

126 burns' poems. 



1 Sir, o'er a gill I gat your card, 

I trow it made me proud ; 
' See wha taks notice o' the bard !' 
I lap and cried fu' loud. 

2 Now deil-ma-care about their jaw, 

The senseless, gawky million ; 
I '11 cock my nose aboon them a', 
I 'm roosed by Craigen-Gillau ! 

3 'Twas noble, sir ; 'twas like yoursel'. 

To grant your high protection : 
A great man's smile, ye ken fu' weel, 
Is aye a blest infection ; — 

4 Though, by his banes^ wha in a tub 

Match'd Macedonian Sandy! 
On my ain legs through dirt and dub, 
I independent stand aye. 

5 And when those legs to gude warm kail, 

Wi' welcome canna bear me ; 
A lee dyke-side, a syboe-tail. 

And barley-scone, shall cheer me. 

6 Heaven spare you lang to kiss the breath 

0' mony flowery simmers ; 
And bless your bonnie lasses baith — 
I'm tald they're lo'esome kimmers ! 

' ' His banes : ' Diogenes. 


7 And God bless joung Dimaskin's laird, 
The blossom of our gentry ! 
And may he wear an auld man's beard, 
A credit to his country ! 



Ellisland, Monday Evening. 

1 Your news and review, sir, I Ve read through and 

through, sir. 
With little admirino; or blaming; : 
The papers are barren of home-news or foreign. 
No murders or rapes worth the naming. 

2 Our friends the reviewers, those chippers and hewers, 

Are judges of mortar and stone, sir ; 
But of meet or unmeet, in a fabric complete, 
1 11 boldly pronounce they are none, sir. 

3 My goose-quill too rude is to tell all your goodness 

Bestow'd on your servant, the Poet ; 
"Would to God I had one like a beam of the sun, 
And then all the w^orld, sir, should know it ! 


1 Health to the Maxwells' veteran chief! 
Health, aye unsour'd by care or grief : 
Inspired, I turn'd Fate's Sibyl leaf 

This natal morn, 
I see thy life is stuff o' prief. 

Scarce quite half worn. 

' ' To Terratiglity : ' Mr Maxwell, of Terrauglity, near Dumfries. 

128 burns' poems. 

2 This day thou metes threescore eleven, 
And I can tell that bounteous Heaven 
(The second sight, ye ken, is given 

To ilka Poet) 
On thee a tack o' seven times seven 

Will yet bestow it. 

3 If envious buckies view wi' sorrow 

Thy lengthen'd days on this blest morrow. 
May Desolation's lang-teeth'd harrow, 

Nine miles an hour, 
Rake them, like Sodom and Gomorrah, 

In brunstane stoure ! 

4 But for thy friends, and they are mony, 
Baith honest men and lasses bonnie, 
May couthie fortune, kind and cannie, 

In social glee, 
Wi' mornings blithe and e'enings funny, 

Bless them and thee ! 

5 Fareweel, auld Birkie ! Lord be near ye. 
And then the deil he daurna steer ye : 
Your friends aye love, your faes aye fear ye ; 

For me, shame fa' me, 
If neist my heart I dinna wear ye. 

While Burns they ca' me ! 



1 Fair Empress of the Poet's soul. 
And Queen of Poetesses ; 

■ ' Lady : ' Mrs M'Lehose. 


Clarinda, take this little boon, 
This humble pair of glasses ! 

2 And fill them high with generous juice, 

As generous as jour mind ; 
And pledge me in the generous toast — 
' The whole of human kind !' 

3 ' To those who love us ! ' — second fill ; 

But not to those whom we love ; 
Lest we love those who love not us ! 
A third — ' To thee and me, love ! ' 


In my early years nothing less would serve me tlian courting the Tragic Muse. 
I was, I think, about eighteen or nineteen when I sketched the outlines 
of a tragedy forsooth : but the bursting of a cloud of family misfortunes, 
which had for some time threatened us, prevented my farther progress. 
In those days I never wrote down any thing ; so, except a speech or two, 
the whole has escaped my memory. Tiie following, which I most dis- 
tinctly remember, was an exclamation from a great character— great in 
occasional instances of generosity, and daring at times in villanies. He 
is supposed to meet with a child of misery, and exclaims to himself : — />. 

' All devil as I am, a damned wretch, 
A harden'd, stubborn, unrepenting villain, 
Still my heart melts at human wretchedness ; 
And with sincere though unavailing sighs 
I view the helpless children of distress. 
With tears indignant I behold th' oppressor 
Rejoicing in the honest man's destruction, 
Whose unsubmitting heart was all his crime. 
Even you, ye helpless crew, I pity you ; 
Ye, whom the seeming good think sin to pity : 
Ye poor, despised, abandon'd vagabonds, 
Whom vice, as usual, has turn'd o'er to ruin. 
VOL. n. I 

130 burns' poems. 

Oh, but for kind, though ill-requited friends, 

I had been driven forth like you forlorn, 

The most detested, worthless wretch among you 

f > 


TwAS where the birch and sounding thong are plied, 

The noisy domicile of pedant pride ; 

Where Ignorance her dark'ning vapour throws, 

And Cruelty directs the thick'ning blows ; 

Upon a time, Sir Abece the Great, 

Li all his pedagogic powers elate. 

His awful chair of state resolves to mount. 

And call the trembling vowels to account. 

First enter'd A, a grave, broad, solemn wight, 
But, ah ! deform'd, dishonest to the sight ! lo 

His twisted head look'd backward on his way, 
And flagrant from the scourge he grunted, Ai! 

Reluctant, E stalk'd in : with piteous race 
The jostling tears ran down his honest face ! 
That name, that well-worn name, and all his own, 
Pale he surrenders at the tyrant's throne ! 
The pedant stifles keen the Roman sound 
Not all his mongrel diphthongs can compound ; 
And next the title following close behind 
He to the nameless, ghastly wretch assign'd. 20 

The cobweb'd Gothic dome resounded, Y ! 
In sullen vengeance, / disdain'd reply : 
The pedant swung his felon cudgel round. 
And knock'd the groaning vowel to the ground ! 

In rueful apprehension enter'd 0, 
The wailing minstrel of despairing woe ; 
Th' Inquisitor of Spain the most expert. 
Might there have learnt new mysteries of his art ; 


So grim, deform'd, with horrors entering U, 29 

His dearest friend and brother scarcely knew ! 

As trembling U stood staring all aghast, 
The pedant in his left hand clutch'd him fast. 
In helpless infants' tears he dipp'd his right, 
Baptized him eu, and kick'd him from his sight. 


A LITTLE, upright, pert, tart, tripping wight, 
And still his precious self his dear delight : 
Who loves his own smart shadow in the streets, 
Better than e'er the fairest she he meets, 
A man of fashion, too, he made his tour, 
Learn'd vive la bagatelle, et vive t amour ; 
So travell'd monkeys their grimace improve, 
Polish their grin, nay, sigh for ladies' love. 
Much specious lore, but little understood ; 
Veneering oft outshines the solid wood : 
His solid sense by inches you must tell, 
But mete his cunning by the old Scots ell ; 
His meddling vanity, a busy fiend. 
Still making work his selfish craft must mend. 


Searching auld wives' barrels, 

Ocli, hon ! the day ! 
That clarty barm should stain my laurels ; 

But — what '11 ye say ? 
These movin' things ca'd wives and weaiis, 
Wad move the very hearts 0' stancs ! 



FoK Lords or Kings I dinna mourn, 
E'en let them die — for that they 're born ! 
But, oh, prodigious to reflec', 
A towmont, sirs, is gane to wreck ! 
Eighty-eight, in thy sma' space 
What dire events hae taken place ! 
Of what enjoyments thou hast reft us I 
In what a pickle thou hast left us ! 

The Spanish empire 's tint a head, 
And my auld teethless Bawtie 's dead ; lo 

The tulzie 's teugh 'tween Pitt and Fox, 
And our guidwife's wee birdie cocks ; 
The taue is game, a bluidy devil, 
But to the hen-birds unco civil ; 
The tither 's dour, has nae sic breedin', 
But better stuff ne'er claw'd a midden ! 

Ye ministers, come mount the pu'pit. 
And cry till ye be hearse and roopit ; 
For Eighty-eight he wish'd you weel, 
And gied you a' baith gear and meal ; 20 

E'en mony a plack, and mony a peck, 
Ye ken yoursels, for little feck ! 

Ye bounie lasses, dight your e'en. 
For some 0' you hae tint a frien' ; 
In Eighty-eight, ye ken, was ta'en, 
AVhat ye '11 ne'er hae to gie again. 

Observe the very nowte and sheep 
How dowfF and dowie now they creep ; 
Nay, even the yirth itsel' does cry. 
For Embro' wells are grutten dry. 30 

Eighty-nine, thou 's but a bairn, 
And no owre auld, I hope, to learn ! 


Thou beardless boy, I pray tak care, 33 

Thou now has got thy daddy's chair, 

Nae hand-cufF'd, muzzled, hap-shackled Regent, 

But, like himsel', a full free agent, 

Be sure ye follow out the plan 

Nae waur than he did, honest man ! 

As meikle better as you can. 

January 1, 1789. 



When lyart leaves bestrew the yird. 
Or wavering like the bauckie-bird, 

Bedim cauld Boreas' blast ; 
When hailstanes drive wi' bitter skyte, 
And infant frosts begin to bite, 

In hoary cranreuch dress'd ; 
Ae night at e'en a merry core 

0' randie, gangrel bodies, 
In Poosie Nansie's held the splore. 

To drink their orra duddies : 
Wi' quaffing and laughing, 

They ranted and they sang; 
Wi' jumping and thumping, 

The vera girdle rang. 

First, neist the fire, in auld red rags, 
Ane sat, wcel braced wi' mealy bags, 

And knapsack a' in order ; 
His doxy lay within his arm, 
Wi' usqucbae and blankets warm — 

She blinkct on her sodger ; 

' This Cantata was written in 1785 ; but not published till after the death 
of the poet. 

134 burns' poems. 


And aye he gies the touzie drab 

The tither skelpin' kiss, 
While she held up her greedy gab, 

Just like an a'mous dish ; 
Ilk smack still, did crack still, 

Just like a cadger's whip, 
Then staggering and swaggering 

He roar'd this ditty up — 


Tune — ' Soldier's Joy' 

I am a son of Mars, who hare been in many wars. 
And show my cuts and scars wherever I come ; 

This here was for a wench, and that other in a trench, 
When welcoming the French at the sound of the drum. 

Lai de daudle, &c. 

My 'prenticeship I past where my leader breathed his 


When the bloody die was cast on the heights of 

Abram ;^ 

I served out my trade when the gallant game was play'd, 

And the Moro low was laid^ at the sound of the drum. 

I lastly was with Curtis, among the floating batteries,^ 
And there I left for witness an arm and a limb ; 

Yet let my country need me, with Elliot to lead me, 
I 'd clatter on my stumps at the sound of a drum. 

' ' Tlie heights of Abram : ' the battle-fielJ near Quebec, where General 
Wolfe fell in the arms of victory, 1759. — ^ ' The Moro low was laid: ' the 
capture of Havanah, the capital of the island of Cuba, by the British, in 1762, 
is here alluded to. — ' ' I lastly was with Curtis, among the floating 
batteries : ' referring to the destruction of the Spanish floating batteries by 
Captain Curtis, during the famous siege of Gibraltar, 1782. 


And now tboiigh I must bee with a wooden arm and lee, 
And many a tatter'd rag hanging over my bum, 

I 'm as happy with my wallet, my bottle and my callet, 
As when I used in scarlet to follow a drum. 

What though with hoary locks I must stand the winter 

Beneath the woods and rocks oftentimes for a home, 
When the 'tother bag I sell, and the 'tother bottle tell, 

I could meet a troop of hell at the sound of the drum. 


He ended ; and the kebars sheuk 

Aboon the chorus roar ; 
While frighted rattons backward leuk. 

And seek the benmost bore ; 
A fairy fiddler frae the neuk. 

He skirl'd out ' Encore I ' 
But up arose the martial chuck. 

And laid the loud uproar. 


Tune — ' Soldier Laddie! 

I once was a maid, though I cannot tell when. 
And still my delight is in proper young men ; 
Some one of a troop of dragoons was my daddie. 
No wonder I 'm fond of a sodgcr laddie, 

Sing, Lai de lal, &c. 

The first of my loves was a swaggering blade, 
To rattle the thundering drum was his trade ; 
His leg was so tiglit, and his cheek was so ruddy, 
Tranf^portcd I was with my sodgcr laddie. 


But the godly old chaplain left him in the lurch. 
So the sword I forsook for the sake of the Church ; 
He ventured the soul, and I risk'd the body — 
Twas then I proved false to my sodger laddie. 

Full soon I grew sick of the sanctified sot, 
The regiment at large for a husband I got ; 
From the gilded spontoon to the fife I was ready, 
I asked no more but a sodger laddie. 

But the peace it reduced me to beg in despair, 
Till I met my old boy at a Cunningham fair ; 
His rags regimental they flutter'd so gaudy. 
My heart it rejoiced at my sodger laddie. 

And now I have lived — I know not how long, 
And still I can join in a cup or a song ; 
But wliilst with both hands I can hold the glass steady, 
Here 's to thee, my hero, my sodger laddie ! 


Poor Merry Andrew in the neuk 

Sat guzzling wi' a tinkler hizzie ; 
They mind't na wha the chorus teuk, 

Between themselves they were so busy. 
At length wi' drink an' courting dizzy. 

He stoiter'd up and made a face : 
Then turn'd, and laid a smack on Grizzv, 

Syne tuned his pipes wi' grave grimace. 


Tune — 'Auld Sir Symon! 
Sir Wisdom 's a fool when he 's fou. 

Sir Knave is a fool in a session ; 
He 's there but a prentice, I trow, 

But I am a fool by profession. 


Mj grannie she bought me a beuk, 

And I held awa' to the school ; 
I fear I raj talent misteuk, 

But what will ye hae of a fool 1 

For drink I would venture my neck, 

A hizzie 's the half o' my craft : 
But what could ye other expect 

Of ane that 's avowedly daft ? 

I ance was tied up like a stirk, 
For civilly swearing and quaffing ; 

I ance was abused i' the kirk, 
For towzhug a lass i' my daffin'. 

Poor Andrew that tumbles for sport, 

Let naebody name wi' a jeer ; 
There 's even, I 'm tauld, i' the court, 

A tumbler ca'd the Premier. 

Observed ye yon reverend lad 

Maks faces to tickle the mob 1 
He rails at our mountebank squad — 

It's rivalship just i' the job. 

And now my conclusion I '11 tell, 

For faith I 'm confoundedly dry, 
The chiel that's a fool for himsel', 

Gude L — d ! he's far dafter than I. 


Then neist outspak a raucle carlin, 
Wha kent fu' weel to deck the sterling, 
For mony a pursic she had hookit. 
And had in mony a well been duckit. 



Her (love had been a Highland laddie, 
But wearj fa' the waefii' woodie ! 
Wi' sighs and sobs she thus began 
To wail her braw John Highlandman : — 


Tune — ' Oh an' ye were dead, Gudeman! 

A Highland lad my love was born, 
The Lawlan' laws he held in scorn ; 
But he still was faithfu' to his clan, 
Mj gallant, braw John Highlandman. 


Sing, hey my braw John Highlandman ! 
Sing, ho my braw John Highlandman ! 
There 's not a lad in a' the Ian' 
Was match for my John Highlandman ! 

With his philabeg and tartan plaid. 
And gude claymore down by his side, 
The ladies' hearts he did trepan. 
My gallant, braw John Highlandman. 

We ranged a' from Tweed to Spey, 
And lived like lords and ladies gay : 
For a Lawlan' face he feared none, 
My gallant, braw John Highlandman. 

They banish'd him beyond the sea, 
But ere the bud was on the tree, 
Adown my cheek the pearls ran. 
Embracing my John Highlandman. 

But, oh ! they catch'd him at the last. 
And bound him in a duugeon fast ; 


My curse upon them every one, 

They 've hang'd my braw John Highlandman. 

And now a widow, I must mourn 
The pleasures that will ne'er return : 
No comfort but a hearty can, 
When I think on John Highlandman. 


A pigmy scraper, wi' his fiddle, 

Wha used at trysts and fairs to driddle, 

Her strappin' limb and gaucy middle, 

(He reach'd nae higher,) 
Had holed his heartie like a riddle, 

And blawn 't on fire. 

Wi' hand on haunch, and upward e'e, 
He croon'd his gamut, one, two, three, 
Then in an arioso key, 

The wee Apollo 
Set off wi' Allegretto glee 

His giga solo. 


Tune — ' Whistle owre tite lave o'V 

Let me ryke up to dight that tear. 
And go wi' me and be my dear, 
And then your every care and fear 
May whistle owre the lave o't. 


I am a fiddler to my trade. 
And a' the tunes that e'er I play'd, 
The sweetest still to wife or maid, 
Was whistle owre the lave o't. 

140 burns' poems. 

At kirns and weddings we'se be there. 
And oh ! sae nicely 's we will fare ; 
We'll bouse about till Daddy Care 
Sings whistle owre the lave o't. 

Sae merrily the banes we '11 pyke, 
And sun oursel's about the dyke, 
And at our leisure, when ye like, 
AVe'll whistle owre the lave o't. 

But bless me wi' your heaven o' charms, 
And while I kittle hair on thairms, 
Hunger, cauld, and a' sic harms, 
May whistle owre the lave o't. 


Iler charms had struck a sturdy caird, 

As weel as poor gut-scraper ; 
He taks the fiddler by the beard, 

And draws a rusty rapier. 
He swoor by a' was swearing worth. 

To speet him like a pliver, 
Unless he would from that time forth. 

Relinquish her for ever. 

Wi' ghastly e'e, poor Tweedle-dee 

Ujoon his hunkers bended, 
And pray'd for grace, wi' ruefu' face, 

And sae the quarrel ended. 
But thougla#iis little heart did grieve, 

When round the tinkler press'd her. 
He feign'd to snirtle in his sleeve, 

When thus the caird address'd her : — 



Tune — ' Clout the caudron' 

Mj bonnie lass, I work in brass, 

A tinkler is my station ; 
I 've travell'd round all Christian ground, 

In this my occupation : 
I 've ta'en the gold, I 've been enroll'd 

In many a noble squadron : 
But vain they search' d, when off I march'd 

To go and clout the caudron. 

I 've ta'en the gold, &;c. 

Despise that shrimp, that wither'd imp, 

Wi' a' his noise and cap'riu', 
And tak a share wi' those that bear 

The budget and the apron. 
And by that stoup, my faith and houp. 

And by that dear Kilbaigie,^ 
If e'er ye want, or meet wi' scant, 
, May I ne'er weet my craigie. 


The caird prevail'd — the unblushing fair 

In his embraces sunk. 
Partly \Vi love o'ercome sae sair, 

And partly she was drunk. 
Sir Violin 0, with an air 

That show'd a man of spunk, 
Wish'd unison between the pair. 

And made the bottle clunk 

To their health that night. 

' ' Kilbaigie : ' A peculiar sort of whisky, so called from Kilhaigic distillery 
in Clackmannanshire, and a great favourite with I'oosie Nansie's clubs. — B. 

142 burns' POEMS. 

But hurchin Cupid shot a shaft, 

That play'd a dame a shavie, 
The fiddler raked her fore and aft, 

Behint the chicken cavie. 
Iler lord, a wight o' Homer's craft,^ 

Though limping with the spavie, 
He hirpled up, and lap like daft, 

And shored them Dantie Davie 

0' boot that night. 

He was a care-defying blade, 

As ever Bacchus listed, 
Though Fortune sair upon him laid, 

His heart she ever miss'd it. 
He had no wish but — to be glad. 

Nor want but — when he thirsted ; 
He hated nought but — to be sad. 

And thus the Muse suggested 

His sang that night. 

AIR. , 

Tune — ' For a! that, and a' that' 

I am a bard of no reorard 

Wi' gentle folks, and a' that ; 
But Homer-like, the glowran' bjke, 

Frae town to town I draw that. 


For a' that, and a' that. 

And twice as meikle 's a' that ; 

I 've lost but ane, I 've twa behin', 
I 've wife eneugh for a' that. 

' ' Homer's craft : ' Homer is allowed to be the oldest ballad-singer on 
lecord. — B. 


I never drank the Muse's stank 

Castalia's burn, and a' that ; 
But there it streams, and richly reams, 

Mj Helicon I ca' that. 

Great love I bear to a" the fair, 
Their humble slave, and a' that ; 

But lordly will, I hold it still 
A mortal sin to thraw that. 

In raptures sweet, this hour we meet, 

Wi' mutual love and a' that ; 
But for how lang the flee may stang, 

Let inclination law that. 

Their tricks and craft have put me daft, 
They 've ta'en me in, and a' that : 

But clear your decks, and here 's the sex ! 
I like the jauds for a' that. 

For a' that, and a' that, 

And twice as meikle 's a' that ; 

My dearest bluid, to do them guid, 
They're welcome till't for a' that. 


So sung the bard — and Nan sie's wa's 
Shook wi' a thunder o' applause, 

Re-echoed from each mouth ; 
They toom'd their pocks, and pawn'd their duds. 
They scarcely left to co'er their fuds, 

To quench their lowin' drouth. 

Then owre again the jovial tlirang 
The poet did request. 

144 burns' poems. 

To lowse his pack, and wale a sang, 
A ballad o' the best : 
He rising, rejoicing, 

Between his twa Deborahs, 
Looks round him, and found them 
Impatient for the chorus. 


Tune — ' Jolly mortals, fill your glasses' 

See ! the smoking bowl before us, 
Mark our jovial ragged ring ! 

Round and round take up the chorus. 
And in raptures let us sing. 


A fig for those by law protected ! 

Liberty 's a glorious feast ! 
Courts for cowards were erected, 

Churches built to please the priest. 

What is title 1 what is treasure '{ 

What is reputation's care "? 
If we lead a life of pleasure, 

'Tis no matter how or where ! 

With the ready trick and fable, 
Round we wander all the day ; 

And at night, in barn or stable. 
Hug our doxies on the hay. 

Does the train-attended carriage 
Through the country lighter rove % 

Does the sober bed of marriage 
Witness brighter scenes of love ? 


Life is all a variorum, 

We regard not how it goes : 
Let them cant about decorum 

Who have characters to lose. 

Here 's to budgets, bags, and wallets ! 
Here 's to all the wandering train ! 
Here 's our ra^rged brats and callets ! 


One and all cry out — Amen 1 


1 Wi' braw new branks in meikle pride, 

And eke a braw new brechan, 
My Pegasus I 'm got astride, 

And up Parnassus pechiu' ; 
Whiles owre a bush, wi' downward crush, 

The doited beastie stammers ; 
Then up he gets, and off he sets, 

For sake o' AVillie Chalmers. 

2 I doubtna, lass, that weel-kenu'd name, 

May cost a pair o' blushes ; 
I am nae stranger to your famp, 

Nor his warm-ui'ged wishes. 
Your bonnie face, sae mild and sweet. 

His honest heart enamours, 
And, faith, ye '11 no be lost a whit, 

Though wair'd on Willie Chalmers. 

3 Auld Truth hersel' might swear ye 're fair, 

And Honour safely back her, 
And Modesty assume your air. 
And ne'er a ane mistak her : 



And sic twa loYe-inspiring e'en 

Might fire even holj palmers ; 
Nae wonder, then, they've fatal been 

To honest Willie Chalmers. 

4 I doubtna fortune may you shore 

Some mim-mou'd pouther'd priestie. 
Fu' lifted up wi' Hebrew lore. 

And band upon his breastie : 
But oh ! what signifies to you, 

His lexicons and grammars ; 
The feeling heart 's the royal blue, 

And that's wi' Willie Chalmers. 

5 Some gapin', glowrin', country laird, 

May warsle for your favour ; 
May claw his lug, and straik his beard, 

And hoast up some palaver. 
My bonnie maid, before ye wed 

Sic clumsy-witted hammers. 
Seek Heaven for help, and barefit skelp 

Awa' wi' Willie Cii aimers. 

6 Forgive the Bard ! my fond regard 

For ane that shares my bosom. 
Inspires my Muse to gie 'm his dues, 

For deil a hair I roose him. 
May powers aboon unite you soon, 

And fructify your amours. 
And every year comes in mair dear 

To you and AVillie Chalmers ! ^ 

' ' Willie Chalmers : ' this v^as written by Burns for a friend of his, a lawyer 
in Ayr. 



Ae day, as Death, that gruesome carle, 
Was driving to the titlier warl' 
A mixtie-maxtie motley squad, 
And raony a guilt-bespotted lad ; 
Black gowns of each denomination. 
And thieves of every rank and station, 
From him that wears the star and garter, 
To him that wintles in a halter : 
Ashamed liimsel' to see the MTetches, 
He mutters, glow'rin' at the bitches, 
' By heavens, I '11 not be seen behint thero, 
Nor 'mang the sp'ritual core present them, 
Without at least ae honest man 

To grace this d infernal clan.' 

By Adamhill a glance he threw, 
*My stars ! ' quoth he, ' 1 have it now; 
There 's just the man I want, i' faith,' 
And quickly stoppit Rankine's breath. 


That there is falsehood in his looks 

I must and will deny : 
They say their master is a knave — 

And sure they do not lie. 

' ' J. Rankine : ' the person to wliom a former epistle was addicssed, while 
Rankine occupied the farm of Adamhill, in Ayrshire. 

148 burns' poems. 


FOR ME Sutherland's benefit-night, Dumfries. 

What needs this din aboiit the town o' Lon'on, 
How this new play and tliat new sang is comin' 1 
Why is outlandish stuff sae meikle courted 1 
Does nonsense mend, like whisky, when imported ? 
Is there nae poet, burning keen for fame, 
Will try to gie us sangs and plays at hame 1 
For comedy abroad he needna toil, 
A fool and knave are plants of every soil ; 
Nor need he hunt as far as Rome and Greece 
To gather matter for a serious piece ; lo 

There 's themes enough in Caledonian story, 
Would show the tragic Muse in a' her glory. 
Is there no daring bard will rise, and tell 
How glorious Wallace stood, how hapless fell ? 
Where are the Muses fled, that could produce 
A drama worthy o' the name o' Bruce ; 
How here, even here, he first unsheatli'd the sword 
'Gainst mighty England and her guilty lord ; 
And after mony a bloody, deathless doing, 
Wrench'd his dear country from the jaws of ruin ? 20 
Oh, for a Shakspeare or an Otway scene, 
To draw the lovely, hapless Scottish Queen ! 
Vain all the omnipotence of female charms 
'Gainst headlong, ruthless, mad Rebellion's arms. 
She fell, but fell with spirit truly Roman, 
To glut the vengeance of a rival woman : 
A woman — though the phrase may seem uncivil — 
As able and as cruel as the Devil ! 
One Douglas lives in Home's immortal page, 
But Douglasses were heroes every age : 8' 


And though your fathers, prodigal of life, 31 

A Douglas follow'd to the martial strife. 
Perhaps, if bowls row right, and Right succeeds, 
Ye jet maj follow where a Douglas leads ! 

As je hae generous done, if a' the land 
Would take the Muses' servants by the hand ; 
Not only hear, but patronise, befriend them, 
And where ye justly can commend, commend them : 
And aiblins when they wiuna stand the test, 
Wink hard, and say the folks hae done their best ! 40 
Would a' the land do this, then 1 11 be caution 
Ye '11 soon hae poets 0' the Scottish nation 
Vv'ill gar Fame blaw until her trumpet crack, 
And warsle Time, and lay him on his back ! 

For us, and for our stage, should ony spier, 
' Whase aught thae chiels maks a' this bustle here V 
My best leg foremost, I '11 set up my brow. 
We have the honour to belong to you ! 
We 're your ain bairns, e'en guide us as ye like. 
But, like good mithers, shore before ye strike. 50 

And gratefu' still I hope ye '11 ever find us. 
For a' the patronage and meikle kindness 
We 've got frae a' professions, sets7 and ranks ; 
God help us I we 're but poor — ye 'se get but thanks. 



Tune — ' The Dragon of Wantley' 

1 Dike was the hate at old Ilarlaw, 
That Scot to Scot did carry ; 
And dire the discord Langside saw. 
For beauteous, hapless Mary : 

150 burns' poems. 

But Scot with Scot ne'er met so hot. 

Or were more in furj seen, sir, 
Than 'twixt HaP and Bob ^ for the famous job- 

Who should be Faculty's Dean, sir. 

2 This Hal for genius, wit, and lore. 

Among the first was number'd ; 
But pious Bob, 'raid learning's store, 

Commandment tenth remember'd. 
Yet simple Bob the victory got, 

And wan his heart 's desire ; 
Which shows that Heaven can boil the pot, 

Though the Devil p — in the fire. 

3 Squire Hal besides had in this case 

Pretensions rather brassy, 
For talents to deserve a place 

Are qualifications saucy ; 
So their worships of the Faculty, 

Quite sick of merit's rudeness, 
Chose one who should owe it all, d' ye see, 

To their gratis grace and goodness. 

4 As once on Pisgah purged was the sight 

Of a son of Circumcision, 
So may be, on this Pisgah height, 

Bob's purblind mental vision : 
Nay, Bobby's mouth may be open'd yet 

Till for eloquence you hail him, 
And swear he has the Angel met 

That met the ass of Balaam. 

5 In your heretic sins may you live and die, 

Ye heretic Eight-and-thirty, 

' ' Hal : ' the Hon. Henry Erskine.— ^ ' Bob : ' Robert Blair of Aventon. 


But accept, ye sublime majority, 

My congratulations hearty. 
With your Honours and a certain King 

In your servants this is striking, 
The more incapacity they bring, 

The more they 're to your liking. 

Tune — ' KiUiecranhie.' 


He clench'd his pamphlets in his fist, 

He quoted and he hinted. 
Till in a dechimation-mist, 

His argument he tint it : 
He gaped for 't, he graiped for 't. 

He fand it was awa', man ; 
But ^yllat his common sense came short, 

He eked it out wi law, man. 


Collected, Harry stood a wee. 

Then open'd out his arm, man : 
His lordship sat wi' rucfu' e'c, 

And eyed the gathering storm, man ; 
Like wind-driven hail, it did assail. 

Or torrents owre a linn, man ; 
The Bench sae wise lift up their eyes, 

Half-wauken'd wi' the din, man. 




1 You 'ee welcome to despots, Dumourier ; 
You 're welcome to despots, Dumourier. 
How does Dampiere do ? 

Ay, and Beurnonville too ? 
Whj didthej not come along with jou, Dumourier 1 

2 1 will fight France with you, Dumourier ; 
I will fight France with you, Dumourier ; 
I will fight France with you, 

I will take my chance with you ; 
By my soul, I '11 dance a dance with you, Dumourier. 

3 Then let us fight about, Dumourier ; 
Then let us fight about, Dumourier ; 
Then let us fight about, 

Till freedom's spark is out, 
Then we'll be d , no doubt, Dumourier. 



1 There were five carlines in the south, 

They fell upon a scheme, 
To send a lad to Lon'on town. 
To bring them tidings hame., 

2 Nor only bring them tidings hame, 

But do their errands there, 
And aiblins gowd and honour baith 
Might be that laddie's share. 


3 There was Maggy bj the banks o' Nith,^ 

A dame wi' pride eneugh, 
And Marjory o' the Mony Lochs,^ 
A carline auld and teugh. 

4 And Blinkin' Bess o' Annandale,^ 

That dwelt near Solwayside, 
And Whisky Jean, that took her gill, 
In Galloway^ sae wide. 

5 And Black Joan, frae Crichton Peel,^ 

0' gipsy kith and kin — 
Five wighter carlines werna foun' 
The south couutrie within. 

6 To send a lad to Lon'on town, 

They met upon a day. 
And mony a knight, and mony a laird. 
Their errand fain would gae, 

7 Oh, mony a knight and mony a laird, 

This errand fain wad gae ; 
But nae ane could their fancy please. 
Oh, ne'er a ane but twae. 

8 The first he was a belted knight,^ 

Bred o' a Border clan, 
And he would gae to Lon'on town, 
Might nae man him withstan'. 

.9 And he wad do their errands well, 
And meikle he wad say, 

' ' Nith : ' Durnfries.— ■^ ' Mony Lochs : ' Loclimaben.— ' ' Aniuudale : ' 
Annan.—' ' Galloway : ' Kirkcudbright.—* ' Crichton Peel : ' Sanquhar.- 
* ' Belted knight : ' Ijir J. Johnstone. 

154 burns' poems. 

And ilka ane at Lon'on court, 
Would bid to liim guid-day. 

10 Then next came in a sodger youth,^ 

And spak wi' modest grace, 
And he wad gae to Lon'on town. 
If sae their pleasure was. 

1 1 He wadna hecht them courtly gifts, 

Nor meikle speech pretend, 
But he wad hecht an honest heart. 
Wad ne'er desert a friend. 

12 Now, wham to choose, and wham refuse, 

At strife thir carlines fell ; 
For some had gentle folks to please, 
And some would please themsel'. 

13 Then out spak mim-mou'd Meg o' Nith, 

And she spak up wi' pride. 
And she wad send the sodger youth. 
Whatever might betide. 

14 For the auld guidman o' Lon'on court ^ 

She didna care a pin ; 
But she wad send the sodger youth 
To greet his eldest son.^ 

15 Then up sprang Bess o' Annandale, 

And a deadly aitli she 's ta'en, 
That she wad vote the Border Knight, 
Though she should vote her lane. 

1 6 For far-aff fowls hae feathers fair. 

And fools o' change are fain ; 

' ' Sodger youth : ' Major Miller. — = ' Lon'on court : ' George III. 
^ ' Eldest son : ' the Prince of Wales. 


But I hae tried the Border Knight, 
x\nd I '11 try him jet again. 

17 Says Black Joan frae Crichton Peel, 

A carline stoor and grim, 
The aiild guidman, and the young guidman, 
For me may sink or swim ; 

18 For fools will freit o' right or wrang. 

While knaves laugh them to scorn ; 
But the sodger's friends hae blawn the best, 
So he shall bear the horn. 

19 Then Whisky Jean spak owre her drink, 

Ye weel ken, kimmers a'. 
The auld guidman o' Lon'on court, 
His back 's been at the wa' ; 

20 And mony a friend that kiss'd his cup, 

Is now a fremit wight : 
But it 's ne'er be said o' Whisky Jean — 
I '11 send the Border Knight. 

21 Then slow raise Marjory o' the Lochs, 

And wrinkled ^vas her brow, 
Her ancient weed was russet gray. 
Her auld Scots bluid was true : 

22 There 's some great folks set light by mc — 

I set as light by them ; 
But I will sen' to Lon'on town 
Wham I like best at hame. 

23 Sae how this weighty plea may end, 

Nae mortal wight can tell : 
God grant the King and ilka man 
May look weel to himsel'. 

156 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' For a' that, and a' that' 

1 Whom will ye send to London town, 

To parliament and a' that 1 
Or whom in a' the country roiin' 
The best deserves to fa' that 1 
For a' that, and a' that, 

Through Galloway, and a' that ; 
Where is the laird or belted knight 
That best deserves to fa' that ? 

2 Wha sees Kerroughtree's open yett 1 

And wha is 't never saw that ? 
Wha ever wi' Kerroughtree 's met, 
And has a doubt of a' that ? 
For a' that, and a' that. 

Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
The independent patriot. 

The honest man, and a' that. 

3 Though wit and worth, in either sex, 

St Mary's Isle can shaw that; 
Wi' dukes and lords let Selkirk mix, 
x\nd weel does Selkirk fa' that. 
For a' that, and a' that. 

Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
The independent commoner 
Shall be the man for a' that. 

4 But why should we to nobles jouk ? 

And is 't against the law that \ 
For why, a lord may be a gouk, 
Wi' ribbon, star, and a' that. 



For a' that, and a' that, 

Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 

A lord may be a lousy loon, 
Wi' ribbon, star, and a' that. 

5 A beardless boy comes o'er the hills, 

Wi' uncle's purse, and a' that ; 
But we '11 hae ane frae 'mang oursels, 
A man we ken, and a' that. 
For a' that, and a' that. 

Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 
For we 're not to be bought or sold, 
Like naigs and nowte, and a' that. 

6 Then let us drink the Stewartry, 

Kerroughtree's laird, and a' that, 

Our representative to be. 

For weel he 's worthy a' that, 

For a' that, and a' that. 

Here 's Heron yet for a' that ! 

A House o' Commons such as he, 

They wad be blest that saw that. 



Tune — ' Fy, let 's a to the Bridal' 

1 Fy, let us a' to Kirkcudbright, 

For there will be bickerin' there ; 
For ^[urray's light horse are to muster, 

And, oh, how the heroes will swear ! 
And there will be Murray commander, 

And Gordon the battle to win ; 
Like brothers they '11 stand by each other, 

Sae knit in alliance are kin. 

158 burns' roEMS. 


2 And there will be black-nebbit Johnnie, 

The tongue o' the trump to them a' ; 
An he getua hell for his troddin', 

The deil gets uae justice ava. 
And there Avill be Kempleton's birkie, 

A boy no sae black at the bane ; 
But as to his fine nabob fortune, 

We '11 e'en let this subject alane. 

3 And there will be Wigton's new sheriff, 

Dame Justice fu' brawly has sped ; 
She 's gotten the heart of a Bushbj, 

But what has become o' the head ? 
And there will be Cardouess, Esquire, 

Sae mighty in Cardoness' eyes, 
A wight that will weather damnation — 

The devil the prey will despise. 

4 And there will be Douglasses doughty. 

New christening towns far and near, 
Abjuring their democrat doings, 

By kissin' the a — of a peer. 
And there will be Kenmure sae generous ! 

Whase honour is pi-oof to the storm ; 
To save them from stark reprobation, 

He lent them his name to the firm. 

5 But we winna mention Redcastle, 

The body, e'en let him escape ; 
He 'd venture the gallows for siller, 

An 'twere na the cost o' the rape. 
And where is our king's lord-lieutenant, 

Sae famed for his gratefu' return 1 
The billie is gettin' his questions. 

To say in Saint Stephen's the morn. 


6 And there will be lads o' the gospel, 

Muirhead,^ wha 's as gude as he 's true ; 
And there will be Buittle's apostle, 

Wha 's mair o' the black than the blue ; 
And there will be folk frae St Mary's, 

A house of great merit and note ; 
The deil ane but honours them highly — 

The deil ane will give them his vote. 

7 And there will be wealthy young Richard — 

Dame Fortune should hing by the neck 
For prodigal, thoughtless bestowing — 

His merit had Mon him respect. 
And there will be rich brother nabobs. 

Though nabobs, yet men o' the first ; 
And there will be Colliston's whiskers, 

And Quentin, o' lads not the worst. 

8 And there will be Stamp-office Johnnie, 

Tak tent how ye purchase a dram ; 
And there will be gay Cassencarie, 

And there will be gleg Colonel Tarn. 
And there will be trusty Kerroughtree, 

Wha 's honour was ever his law ; 
If the virtues were pack'd in a parcel, 

His worth might be sample for a'. 

9 And can we forget the auld Major, 

Wha '11 ne'er be forgot in the Greys 1 
Our flattery we '11 keep for some ither, 

Him it 's only justice to praise. 
And there will be maiden Kilkcrran, 

And also Barskimming's gude knight ; 

' ' Muirliead : ' of Urr — sec • Lit'j.' 

160 burns' poems. 

Aud there will be roaring Birtwhistle, 
Wha, luckily, roars in the right. 

10 And there frae the Niddesdale border, 

Will mingle the Maxwells in droves, 
Teiigh Johnnie, staunch Geordie and Wattie, 

That granes for the fishes and loaves. 
And there will be Logan M'Dowall ; 

Sculdudd'rj and he will be there : 
And also the wild Scot o' Galloway, 

Sodgerin' gunpowder Blair. 

1 1 Hey for the chaste int'rest of Broughton, 

And hey for the blossoms 'twill bring ; 
It may send Balmaghie to the Commons. 

In Sodom 'twould made liim a king. 
And hey for the sanctified Murray, 

Our land wha wi' chapels has stored : 
He founder'd his horse among harlots, 

But gied his auld naig to the Lord. 


Tune — ' Buy Broom Besoms' 

1 Wha will buy my troggin,^ 
Gude election ware ; 
Broken trade o' Broughton, 
A' in high repair. 


Buy braw troggin, 

Frae the banks o' Dee ; 

Wha wants troggin, 
Let him come to me. 

' ' Troggin : ' a name for pedlars' wai-es. 


2 Here's a noble Earl's 

Fame and high renown, 
For an aiild sang — 

It 's thought the goods were stown. 

3 Here 's the worth o' Broughton, 

In a needle's e'e : 
Here 's a reputation, 
Tint bj Balmaghie. 

4 Here's an honest conscience, 

]\Iight a prince adorn, 
Frae the downs o' Tinwald — 
So was never worn. 

5 Here's the stuff and liuino; 

0' Cardoness' head ; 
Fine for a sodger, 
A' the wale o' lead. 

6 Here's a little w\^dset, 

Buittle's scrap o' truth ; 
Pawn'd in a gin-shop, , 
Quenching holy drouth. 

V Here's armorial bearings, 
Frae the manse o' Urr ; 
The crest an auld crab-apple, 

Rotten at the core. 


8 Here is Satan's picture, 
Like a bizzard gled, 
Pouncing poor Redcastle, 
Sprawlin' like a taed. 
VOL. n. L 

162 burns' poems. 

9 Here 's the -worth aud wisdom 
Colliestou can boast ; 
By a thievish midge 

They had amaist been lost. 

10 Here is Murray's fragments 

0' the Ten Commands ; 
Gifted by black Jock, 

To get them aff his hands. 

1 1 Saw ye e'er sic troggin "? 

If to buy ye 're slack, 
Hornie's turnin' chapman — 
lie '11 buy a' the pack. 


Tune — ' The Babes in the Wood.' 

1 'Twas in the seventeen hundred year 

0' Christ, and ninety-five, 
That year I was the wae'est man 
0' ony man alive. 

2 In March, the three-and-twentieth day, 

The sun rose clear and bright ; 
But oh, I was a waefu' man 
Ere toofa' o' the night. 

3 Yerl Galloway lang did rule this land 

Wi' equal right and fame, 
And thereto was his kinsman join'd 
The Murray's noble name ! 

4 Yerl Galloway lang did rule the laud 

Made me the judge o' strife ; 

' ' But^liby : ' John Busliby, Esq., of Tinwald-dowus. 


But now Yeii Galloway's sceptre 's broke, 
And eke my hangman's knife. 

5 'Twas by the banks o' bonnie Dee, 

Beside Kirkcudbright towers. 
The Stewart and the Murray there, 
Did muster a' their powers. 

6 The Murray, and tlie auld gray yaud, 

Wi' winged spurs did ride, 
That auld gray yaud, yea, Nidsdale rade. 
He staw upon Nidside. 

7 An there had been the Yerl himsel', 

Oh, there had been nae play ; 
But Garlics was to London gane. 
And sae the kye might stray. 

8 And there was Balmaghie, I ween. 

In the front rank he wad shine ; 
But Balmaghie had better been 
Driukinsr Madeira wine. 


9 Frae the Glenkens came to our aid 
A chief o' doughty deed, ' 

In case that worth should wanted be, 
0' Kenmore we had need. 

10 And there sae grave Squire Cardoness 

Look'd on till a' was done ; 
Sae, in a tower o' Cardoness, 
A howlet sits at noon. 

11 And there led I the Bushbys a' ; 

My gamesome billie Will, 
And my son Maitland, wise as brave, 
My footsteps follow 'd stilJ. 


12 The Douglas and the Heron's name, 

We set nought to their score : 
The Douglas and the Heron's name 
Had felt our weight before. 

13 But Douglasses o' weight had we, 

The pair o' lustj lairds, 
For building cot-houses sae famed. 
And christening kail yards, 

14 And by our banners march'd ^Muirhead, 

And Buittle was na slack ; 
AY hose holy priesthood nane can stain, 
For wha can dye the black ? 



1 What waefu' news is this I hear "? 
Frae greeting I can scarce forbear. 
Folk tells me, je 're gaun aff this year. 

Out owre the sea, 
And lasses wham ye lo'e sae dear 

Will greet for thee. 

2 Weel wad I like were ye to stay ; 
But, Robin, since ye will away, 

I hae a word yet mair to say, 

And maybe twa; 

May He protect us night and day, 

That made us a' ! 

3 Whare thou art gaun, keep mind frae me. 
Seek Him to bear thee companie, 

' ' Tailor:' Thomas Walker, a tailor near Ociiiltree. 


And, Robin, whan je come to die. 

Ye '11 win aboou, 
And live at jDcace and unity 

Ajont the moon. 

4 Some tell me, Rab, ye dinna fear 
To get a wean, and curse and swear ; 
I 'm unco wae, my lad, to hear 

0' sic a trade, 
Could I persuade you to forbear, 

I wad be glad. 

5 Fu' weel ye ken ye '11 gang to hell, 
Gin ye persist in doin' ill — 

Waes me ! ye 're hurlin' down the hill 

Withouten dread, 

And ye "11 get leave to swear your fill 

After ye 're dead. 

6 There, waltli o' women ye '11 get near, 
But gettin' weans ye will forbear, 
Ye '11 never say, My bonnie dear. 

Come, gie 's a kiss — 
Nae kissing there — ye '11 girn and sneer, 

And ither hiss. 

7 Rab ! lay by thy foolish tricks, 
And steer nae mair the female sex, 

Or some day ye '11 come through the pricks. 

And that ye '11 see ; 

Ye '11 fin' hard living wi' Auld Nicks — 

I 'm wae for thee ! 

8 But what 's this conies wi' sic a knell, 
Amaist as loud as ony bell, 


While it does mak my conscience tell 

Me what is true ! 

I 'm but a ragget cowt mysel', 

Owre sib to jou ! 

9 We 're owre like those wha think it fit, 
To stuff their noddles fu' o' wit, 
And jet content in darkness sit, 

Wha shun the light. 
Wad let them see to 'scape the pit 

That lang dark night. 

10 But fareweel, Rab, I maun awa'; 
May He that made us keep us a', 
For that wad be a dreadfu' fa'. 

And hurt us sair. 
Lad, ye wad never mend ava, 

Sae, Rab, tak care. 


1 What ails ye now, ye lousy bitch, 
To thresh my back at sic a pitch 1 
Losh man ! hae mercy wi' your natch, 

Your bodkin's bauld, 
I didna suffer half sae much 

Frae Daddy Auld. 

2 What though at times, when I grow crouse, 
I gie their wames a random pouse. 

Is that enough for you to souse 

Your servant sae 1 

Gae mind your seam, ye prick-the-louse ! 

And jag the flae. 


3 King David, o' poetic brief, 
Wrought 'mang the lasses sic mischief, 
As fill'd his after life wi' grief 

And bloody rants, 
And yet he 's rank'd amang the chief 

0' langsyne saimts. 

4 And maybe, Tam, for a' my cants, 
My wicked rhymes, and drucken rants, 
I '11 gie auld cloven Clooty's haunts 

An unco slip yet, 
xA.nd snugly sit amang the saunts. 

At Davie's hip yet. 

5 But fegs, the Session says I maun 
Gae fa' upon anither plan. 

Than garrin' lasses coup the cran 

Clean heels owre body. 

And fairly thole their mither's ban, 

Afore the howdy. 

6 This leads me on to tell for sport 
How I did wi' the Session sort — 
Auld Clinkum at the Inner Port 

Cried three times, ' Robin ! 
Come hither lad, and answer for 't. 

Ye 're blamed for jobbin'.' 

7 Wi' pinch I put a Sunday's face on, 
And snooved awa' before the Session — 
I made an open fair confession, 

I scorn'd to lie ; 
And syne Mess John, beyond expression, 

Fell foul o' me. 

168 burns' poems. 

(S A fornicator loim he call'd me, 

And said my fau't frae bliss expell'd me ; 
I own'd the tale was true he tell'd me ; 

' But what the matter/ 
Q.uo' I, ' 1 fear, unless ye geld me, 

1 11 ne'er be better.' 

9 ' Geld you ! ' quo' he, ' and what for no 1 
If that your right hand, leg, or toe. 
Should ever prove your sp'ritual foe, 

You should remember 
To cut it afF, and what for no 

Your dearest member 1 ' 

10 ' Na, na,' quo' I, ' I 'm no for that. 
Gelding's nae better than it's ca't, 
I 'd rather suffer for my faut, 

A hearty flewit, 
As fair owre hip as ye can draw 't. 

Though I should rue it. 


11 ' Or gin ye like to end the bother, 
To please us a', I 've just ae ither ; 
When next wi' yon lass I forgather, 

Wliate'er betide it, 
I '11 frankly gi'e her 't a' thegither, 

And let her guide it.' 

12 But, sir, this pleased them warst ava. 
And therefore, Tam, when that I saw, 
I said, ' Gude-night,' and cam awa'. 

And left the Session ; 
I saw they were resolved a' 

On my oppression. 

ELEGY. 169 


Thee, Caledonia, thy wild heaths among, 
Thee, famed for martial deed and sacred song, 

To thee I turn with swimming ejes ; 
Where is that soul of freedom fied '? 
Immiugled with the mighty dead ! 

Beneath the hallow'd turf where AVallace lies ! 
Hear it not, Wallace, in thy bed of death ! 

Ye babbling winds, in silence sweep ; 

Disturb not yet the hero's sleep, 
Nor give the coward secret breath. 

Is this the power in freedom's war, 

That wont to bid the battle rase 1 
Behold that eye which shot immortal hate, 

Crushing the despot's proudest bearing, 
That arm which, nerved with thundering fate, 

Braved usurpation's boldest daring ! 
One quench'd in darkness like the sinking star, 
And one the palsied arm of tottering, powerless age. 



1 Now Robin lies in his last lair. 

He '11 gabble rhyme nor sing nae mair ; 
Cauld poverty, wi' hungry stare, 

Nae mair shall fear him ; 
Nor anxious fear, nor cankert care 

E'er mair come near him. 

' ' Ruisscaux : ' a play upon liis own name. 


2 To tell the truth, they seldom fash'd him, 
Except the moment that thej crush'd him ; 
For soon as chance or fate had hiish'd 'era, 

Though e'er sae short, 
- Then wi' a rhyme or sang he lash'd 'era. 

And thought it sport. 

3 Though he was born to kintra wark, 
And counted was baith wight and stark, 
Yet that was never Robin's raark 

To mak a man ; 
But tell him he was learn'd and dark, 
Ye roosed him then ! 


In this strange land, this uncouth clime, 

A land unknown to prose or rhyme ; 

A?here words ne'er cross'd the Muse's heckles, 

Nor limpet in poetic shackles ; 

A land that Prose did never view it. 

Except when drunk he stacher't through it ; 

Here, ambush'd by the chimla cheek, 

Hid in an atmosphere of reek, 

I hear a wheel thrum i' the neuk, 

I hear it — for in vain I leuk. lo 

The red peat gleams, a fiery kernel, 

Enhusked by a fog infernal : 

Here, for my wonted rhyming raptures, 

I sit and count my sins by chapters ; 

For life and spunk Hke ither Christians, 

I 'm dwindled down to mere existence — 

* This epistle, written at Ellisland, and dated .June 1788, is addressed to 5Ir 
Hugh Parker, merchant, Kilmarnock, one of Burns' earliest friends and patrons. 


Wi' Bae converse but Gallowa' bodies, 17 

Wi' nae kent face but Jenny Geddes. 

Jenny, my Pegasean pride! 

Dowie she saunters down Nithside, 

And aye a westlin' leuk she throws, 

While tears hap o'er her auld brown nose ! 

Was it for this, wi' canny care, 

Thou bure the Bard through mony a shire 1 

At howes or hillocks never stumbled, 

And late or early never grumbled "? 

Oh, had I power like inclination, 

I 'd heeze thee up a constellation, 

To canter with the Sagitarre, 

Or loup the ecliptic like a bar ; 30 

Or turn the pole like any arrow ; 

Or, when auld Phoebus bids good-morrow, 

Down the zodiac urge the race, 

And cast dirt on his godship's face ; 

For I could lay my bread and kail 

He 'd ne'er cast saut upo' thy tail. 

Wi' a' this care and a' this grief, 

And sma', sma' prospect of relief, 

And nought but peat-reek i' my head. 

How can I write what ye can read 1 40 

Tarbolton, twenty-fourth 0' June, 

Ye '11 find me in a better tune ; 

But till we meet and weet our whistle, 

Tak this excuse for nae epistle. 

Robert Burns. 




February 1787. 

My canty, witty, rhyming ploiigliman, 

I hafflins doubt it is na true, man, 

That ye between the stilts were bred, 

Wi' ploughmen school'd, wi' ploughmen fed ; 

I doubt it sair, ye've drawn your knowledge 

Either frae grammar-school or college. 

Guid troth, your saul and body baith 

Ware better fed, I 'd gie my aith, 

Than theirs, wha sup sour-milk and parritch, 

And bummil through the Single Carritch. lo 

Wha ever heard the ploughman speak 

Could tell gif Homer was a Greek \ 

He 'd flee as soon upon a cudgel, 

As get a single line of Virgil. 

And then sae slee ye crack your jokes 

On Willie Pitt and Charlie Fox : 

Our great men a' sae weel descrive, 

And how to gar the nation thrive, 

Ane maist wad swear ye dwalt amang them, 

And as ye saw them, sae ye sang them. 20 

But be ye ploughman, be ye peer. 

Ye are a funny blade, I swear : 

And though the cauld I ill can bide, 

Yet twenty miles, and mair, I 'd ride, 

O'er moss, and muir, and never grumble. 

Though my auld yad should gie a stumble, 

To crack a winter night wi' thee, 

And hear thy sangs and sonnets slee. 

' ' The gnldewife of Wauchope-liouse : ' was the late talented Mrs Scott of 


A guid saiit lierring and a cake, 29 

Wi' sic a chiel, a feast wad make ; 

I 'd rather scour your reamiug }dll, 

Or eat 0' cheese and bread mj fill, 

Than wi' dull lairds on turtle dine, 

And ferlie at their wit and wine. 

Oh, gif I kenn'd but where ye baide, 

I 'd send to you a marled plaid ; 

'Twad baud your shouthers warm and braw. 

And douse at kirk or market shaw ; 

For south as weel as north, mv lad, 

A' honest Scotsmen lo'e the maud. 40 

Right wae that we 're sae far frae ither ; 

Yet proud I am to ca' ye brither. 

Your most obedient, E. S. 



1 I MiXD it weel, in early date, 

When I was beardless, young, and blate, 

And first could thresh the barn, 
Or baud a yokin' at the pleugh. 
And though forfoughten sair eneugh, 

Yet unco proud to learn ; 
When first amang the yellow corn 

A man I rcckon'd was. 
And wi' the lave ilk merry morn 
Could rank my rig and lass. 
Still shearing, and clearing 
The tithcr stookcd raw, 
Wi' claivers and haivcrs. 
Wearing the day awa'. 

174 burns' roEMS. 

2 Even then a wish — I mind its power — 
A wish that to my latest horn- 
Shall strongly heave my breast — 

That I, for poor auld ScotLand's sake, 
Some usefu' plan, or beuk could make, 

Or sing a sang at least. 
The rongh bur-thistle, spreading wide 

Amang the bearded bear, 
I turn'd the weeder-clips aside, 
And spared the symbol dear : 
No nation, no station, 

My envy e'er could raise ; 
A Scot still, but blot still, 
I knew nae higher praise. 

3 But still the elements o' saug 

In formless jumble, right and wrang, 

Wild floated in my brain : 
Till on that hairst I said before 
My partner in the merry core, 

She roused the formiug strain ; 
I see her yet, the sousie quean. 

That lighted up my jingle. 
Her witching smile, her pauky e'en, 
That gart my heart-strings tingle ; 
I fired, inspired, 

At every kindling keek. 
But bashing, and dashing, 
I feared aye to speak. 

4 Health to the sex ! ilk guid chiel says, 
Wi' merry dance in winter days, 

And we to share in common : 
The gust of joy, the balm of woe, 

LAMENT. 1 '75 

The saul o' life, the heaven below, 

Is rapture-giviog woman. 
Ye surlj sumphs, who hate the name, 
Be minclfu o' jour mither ; 
She, honest woman, maj think shame 
That ye 're connected with her. 
Ye 're wae men, ye 're nae men, 
That slight the lovely dears ; 
To shame ye, disclaim ye, 
Ilk honest birkie swears. 

5 For you, no bred to barn and byre, 
Wha sweetly tune the Scottish Ijve, 

Thanks to you for your line : 
The marled plaid ye kindly spare. 
By me should gratefully be ware ; 

'Twad please me to the nine ; 
I 'd be mair vauntie o' my hap. 
Douse hingin' o'er my curple, 
Than ony ermine ever lap. 
Or proud imperial purple. 

Farewell then, lang heal then, 

And plenty be your fa' : 
!May losses, and crosses, 
Ne 'er at your hallan ca' ! 

March 1787. 



Tune—' The Banks of the Devon: 
1 O'er the mist-shrouded clijOfs of the lone mountain straying, 
Where the wild winds of winter incessantly rave. 

176 burns' poems. 

Wliat woes wring my heart while intently surveying 
The storm's gloomy path on the breast of the wave ! 

2 Ye foam-crested billows, allow me to wail, ' 

Ere ye toss me afar from my loved native shore ; 
Where the flower which bloom'd sweetest in Coila's 
green vale, 
The pride of my bosom, my ]\Iary's no more. 

3 No more by the banks of the streamlet we '11 wander. 

And smile at the moon's rimpled face in the wave; 
No more shall my arms cling with fondness around her, 
For the dew-drops of morning fall cold on her grave. 

4 No more shall the soft thrill of love warm my breast, 

I haste with the storm to a far distant shore ; 
Where, miknown, milamented, my ashes shall rest. 
And joy shall revisit my bosom no more. 


Monday, April 16, 1787. 

When by a generous Public's kind acclaim. 
That dearest meed is granted — honest fame : 
When here your favour is the actor's lot, 
Nor even the man in private life forgot ; 
What breast so dead to heavenly Virtue's glow. 
But heaves impassion'd with the grateful throe ! 
Poor is the task to please a barbarous throng, 
It needs no Siddons' powers in Southern's song ; 
But here an ancient nation famed afar, 
For genius, learning high, as great in war — lo 

Hail, Caledonia, name for ever dear ! 
Before whose sons I 'm honour'd to appear 1 

rrvOLOGUE. 177 

Where every science — every nobler art — is 

That can inform the mind, or mend the heart, 

Is known ; as grateful nations oft have found 

Far as the rude barbarian marks the bound. 

Philosophy, no idle pedant dream. 

Here holds her search by heaven-taught Reason's beam ; 

Here History paints with elegance and force, 

The tide of Empire's fluctuating course ; 20 

Here Douglas forms wild Shakspeare into plan, 

And Harley^ rouses all the God in man. 

When well-form'd taste and sparkling wit unite 

With manly lore, or female beauty bright, 

(Beauty, where faultless symmetry and grace, 

Can only charm us in the second place,) 

W^itness my heart, how oft with panting fear 

As on this night, I 've met these judges here ! 

But still the hope experience taught to live, 

Equal to judge, you 're caiKlid to forgive. so 

No hundred-headed Riot here we meet, 

With Decency and Law beneath his feet ; 

Nor insolence assumes fair Freedom's name ; 

Like Caledonians, you applaud or blame. 

thou dread Power ! whose empire-giving hand 
Has oft been stretch'd to shield the honour'd land ! 
Strong may she glow Mith all her ancient fire ! 
May every sou be worthy of his sire ! 
Firm may she rise with generous disdain 
At Tyranny's, or direr Pleasure's chain ! 40 

Still self-dependent in her native shore, 
Bold may she brave grim Danger's loudest roar, 
Till Fate the curtain drop on worlds to be no more. 

' ' Il.irley : ' ' The JIan of Feeling,' wrote by Mr Mackenzie. — B. 

178 burns' poems. 



1 Thou 's welcome, wean ! mislianter fa' me, 
If ought of thee, or of thy mammy, 
Shall ever daaton me, or awe me. 

My sweet wee lady. 
Or if I blush when thou shalt ca' me 
Tit-ta, or daddy. 

2 Wee image of my bonnie Betty, 

I fatherly will kiss and daut thee. 
As dear and near my heart I set thee 

Wi' as gude will. 
As a' the priests had seen me get thee 

That 's out o' hell. 

8 What though they ca' me fornicator, 
And tease my name in kintra clatter : 
The mair they talk I 'm kent the better, 

E'en let them clash ; 
An auld wife's tongue 's a feckless matter 

To gie ane fasli. 

4 Sweet fruit o' mony a merry dint, 
My funny toil is now a' tint. 
Sin' thou came to the world asklent, 

Which fools may scoff at ; 
In my last plack thy part 's be in 't — 

The better half o't. 

' The subject of these verses was the poet's illegitimate (laughter, whom in 
' Tiie Invcutory ' he styles his 

" Sonsy, smirking, dear-bought Bess." 
Slie was married to Mr John Bishop, overseer at Polkemmet, near Whitburn, 
anil is long dead. 


5 And if thou be what I would bae thee, 
And tak the counsel I shall gie thee, 
A lovin' fatlier I '11 be to thee, 

If thou be spared : 
Through a' thj childish years I '11 e'e thee, 
And think 't weel wared. 

6 Gude grant that thou may aye inherit 
Thy ruither's person, grace, and merit. 
And thy poor worthless daddy's spirit 

Without his failins ; 
'Twill please me mair to hear and see 't. 
Than stockit mailins. 


AuLD comrade dear, and brither sinner, 

How's a' the folk about Glcnconnar? 

How do you, this blae eastlin' win', 

That's like to blaw a body blin"? 

For me, my faculties are frozen, 

My dearest member nearly dozen', 

I 've sent you here, by Johnnie Simpson, 

Twa sage philosophers to glimpse on ; 

Smith, wi' his sympathetic feeling, 

And Rcid, to common sense appealing. lo 

Philosophers have fought and wrangled, 

And mcikle Greek and Latin mangled, 

Till, wi' their logic-jargon tired. 

And in the depth of Science mired, 

^J'o Common Sense they now appeal, 

What wives and wabsters see and feci. 

But, hark ye, friend ! I charge you strictly, 

Peruse them, and return them quickly, 


For now I 'm grown so cursed douce, i9 

I praj and ponder butt the house, 

Mj shins, my lane, I there sit roastin', 

Perusing Bunyan, Brown, and Boston ; 

Till bj and bj, if I baud on, 

I'll grunt a real gospel-groan : 

Already I begin to try it, 

To cast my e'en up like a pyet. 

When by the gun she tumbles o'er, 

Flutt'ring and gasping in her gore : 

Sae shortly you shall see me bright, 

A burnins: and a shinins: li^ht. 30 

My heart-warm love to guid auld Glen, 
The ace and wale of honest men : 
When bending down wi' auld gray hairs, 
Beneath the load of years and cares. 
May He who made him still support him, 
And Tiews beyond the grave comfort him; 
His worthy family far and near, 
God bless them a' wi' crace and gear ! 

My auld school-fellow. Preacher Willie, 
The manly tar, my mason billie, 40 

And Auchenbay, I wish him joy ! 
If he 's a parent, lass or boy, 
May he be dad, and Mag the mither, 
Just five-and-forty years thegither ! 
And not forgetting wabster Charlie, 
I'm tauld he offers very fairly. 
And, Lord, remember singing Sannock, 
Wi' hale-breeks, saxpence, and a bannock ; 
And next, my auld acquaintance, Nancy, 
Since she is fitted to her fancy ; 50 

x\nd her kind stars hae airted till her 
A good chiel wi' a pickle siller. 


Mj kiudest, best respects I sen' it, 53 

To coiisiu Kate aud sister Janet ; 

Tell them frae me, wi' ciiiels be cautious, 

For, faith, they'll aiblius fin' them fashious : 

To grant a heart is fairly civil. 

But to grant a maidenhead 's the devil. 

And lastly Jamie, for yoursel'. 

May guardian angels tak a spell, eo 

And steer you seven miles south 0' hell : 

But first, before you see heaven's glory, 

May ye get mony a merry story, 

Mony a laugh, and mony a drink, 

And aye eneugli o' needfu' clink ! 

Now fare ye weel, aud joy be wi' you ; 
For my sake this I beg it 0' you, 
Assist poor Simpson a' ye can, 
Ye '11 fin' him just an honest man ; 
Sae I conclude, and quat my chanter. 70 

Yours, saint or sinner, 

Rob THE Ranter. 


1 On, sweet be thy sleep in the land of the grave, 

My dear little angel, for ever ; 
For ever — oh no ! let not man be a slave, 
His hopes from existence to sever. 

2 Though cold be the clay, where thou pillow'st thy head, 

In the dark silent mansions of sorrow, 
The spring shall return to thy low narrow bed. 
Like the beam of the Day-star to-morrow. 


3 The flower-stem shall bloom like thy sweet seraph form, 

Ere the spoiler had nipt thee in blossom, 
. When thou shrunk frae the scowl of the loud winter storm, 
And nestled thee close to that bosom. 

4 Oh ! still I behold thee, all lovely in death. 

Reclined on the lap of thy mother, 
When the tear trickled bright, when the short stifled breath, 
Told how dear ye were aye to each other. 

5 My child, thou art gone to the home of thy rest. 

Where suff'ering no longer can harm ye, 
Where the songs of the good, where the hymns of the blest, 
Through an endless existence shall charm ye. 

6 While he, thy fond parent, must sighing sojourn. 

Through the dire desert regions of sorrow. 
O'er the hope and misfortune of being to mourn. 
And sigh for this life's latest morrow. 


President of the Eight Honourable and Honourable the Highland Society, 
which met on the 23d of Maj' last, at tlie Shakspeare, Covcnt-Garden, to 
concert ways and means to frustrate the designs of five hundred High- 
landers, who, as the Society were informed by Mr M'Kenzie of Apple- 
cross, were so audacious as to attempt an escape from their lawful lords 
and masters, whose property they are, by emigrating from the lands of 
Mr Macdonell of Glengarry to the wilds of Canada, in search of that 
fantastic thing — Liberty ! — B. 

Long life, my lord, and health be yours, 
TTnskaith'd by huuger'd Highland boors ! 
Lord, grant nae duddie, desperate beggar, 
Wl' durk, claymore, or rusty trigger. 
May twin auld Scotland o' a life 
She likes — as lambkins like a knife ! 


Faith, you and Applecross were right 7 

To keep the Highland hounds in sight : 
I doubtna, they would bid nae better 
Than, let them ance out owre the water. 
Then up amang thae lakes and seas 
They '11 mak what rules and laws they please ! 
Some daring Hancock, or a Franklin, 
May set their Highland bluid a ranklin' ; 
Some Washington again may head them. 
Or some Montgomery, fearless, lead them ! 
Till God knows what may be effected, 
When by such heads and hearts directed ; 
Poor dunghill sons of dirt and mire. 
May to patrician rights aspire ! 20 

Nae sage North now, or sager Sackville, 
To watch and premier owre the pack vile ! 
And where will ye get Howes and Clintons 
To bring them to a right repentance, 
To cowe the rebel generation. 
And save the honour 0' the nation ? 

They! and be d ! M-hat right hae they 

To meat, or sleep, or light 0' day? 

Far less to riches, power, or freedom. 

But what your lordships please to gi'e them ! 30 

But hear, my lord ! Glengarry, hear ! 

Your hand 's owre light on them, I fear : 

Your factors, grieves, trustees, and bailies, 

I canna say but they do gaylies ; 

They lay aside a' tender mercies. 

And tirl the hallions to the birses ; 

Yet, while they're only poind't and herriet, 

They '11 keep their stubborn Highland spirit : 

But smash them ! crash them a' to spails ! 

And rot the dyvours i' the jails! 4u 


The young dogs, swinge them to the labour ; 4i 

Let wavk and hunger mak tliem sober ! 

The hizzies, if they 're oughtlins fawsont. 

Let them in Drury Lane be lesson'd ! 

And if the wives and dirty brats 

Come thiggin' at your doors and yetts, 

Flaffan wi' duds and 2;rav wi' beas' 

Frightin' awa' your deucks and geese, 

Get out a horse-whip or a jowler, 

The langest thong, the fiercest growler so 

And gar the tatter'd gipsies pack 

Wi' a' their bastards on their back ! 

Go on, my lord ! I lang to meet you. 
And in my house at hame to greet you ! 
Wi' common lords ye shanna mingle ; 
The benmost neuk beside the ingle. 
At my right hand assigned your seat, 
'Tween Herod's hip and Polycrate — 
Or if ye on your station tarrow, 
Between Almagro and Pizarro ; co 

A seat I 'm sure ye 're weel deservin't ; 
And till ye come — Your humble servant, 

June Is/, xinno Mundi 5790. [a. d. ITSG.J BeELZEBUB. 


Lone on the bleaky hills the straying flocks 
Shun the fierce storms among the shelt'ring rocks ; 
Down foam the riv'lets, red with dashing rains ; 
The gathering floods burst o'er the distant plains ; 
Beneath the blast the leafless forests groan, 
The hollow caves return a sullen moan. 

' ' Lord President : ' Diiiulas. 


Ye hills, je plains, je forests, and je caves, r 

Ye howling winds, and wintry swelling waves 1 
Unheard, unseen, bj hiiuaan ear or eje, 
Sad, to your sympathetic glooms I fly, 
Where, to the whistlins: blast and waters' roar. 
Pale Scotia's recent wound I may deplore. 

heavy loss, thy country ill could bear ! 
A loss these evil days can ne'er repair ! 
Justice, the high vicegerent of her God, 
Her doubtful balance eyed and swayed her rod ; 
She heard the tidings of the fatal blow, 
And sunk abandon'd to the ^vildest woe. 

Wrongs, injuries, from many a darksome den, 
Now" gay in hope explore the paths of men : 20 

See, from his cavern grim Oppression rise. 
And throw on Poverty his cruel eyes ; 
Keen on the helpless victim see him fly, 
And stifle, dark, the feebly-bursting cry ; 
Mark ruffian Violence, distain'd with crimes. 
Rousing elate in these degenerate times : 
View unsuspecting Innocence a prey. 
As guileful Fraud points out the erring way ; 
While subtle Litigation's pliant tongue 
The life-blood equal sucks of Right and Wrong : so 

Ilark, injured Want recounts the uulisten'd tale. 
And much-wrong'd Misery pours the unpitied wail ! 
Ye dark waste hills, and brown unsightly plains, 
Inspire and soothe my melancholy strains ! 
Ye tempests, rage ! ye turbid torrents, roll ! 
Ye suit the joyless tenor of my soul ; 
Life's social haunts and pleasures I resign ; 
Be nameless wilds and lonely w^anderings mine, 
^j'o mourn the woes my country must endure. 
That wound degenerate ai^es cannot cure. 40 

1S6 burns' poems. 



Oh, could I give thee India's wealth 

As I this trifle send I 
Because thj joj in both would be 

To share them with a friend. 

But golden sands did never grace 
The Heliconian stream ; 

Then take what gold could never biiy- 
An honest Bard's esteem. 


1 Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare, 

As ever trod on aim ; 
But now she 's floating down the Nith, 
And past the mouth o' Cairn. 

2 Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare. 

And rode through thick and thin ; 
But now she's floating down the Nith, 
And wanting even the skin. 

3 Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare, 

And ance she bore a priest ; 
But now she 's floating down the Nith, 
For Solway fish a feast. 

' ' John M'Murdo, Esq. : ' this gentleman was steward to the Duke of 
Qneensberry.^- ' Peg Nicholson : ' a name derived from the maniac M'ho 
attempted tlie life of George III., was the poet's mare, and the successor of 
Jeimy Geddes ; she was either sold or lent to him by William Nicol. 


4 Peg Nicholson was a good bay mare, 
Aucl the priest he rode her sair ; 
And much oppress'd and bruised she was, 
As priest-rid cattle are. 


CuESED be the man, the poorest wretch in life, 
The crouching vassal to the tyrant wdfe, 
Who has no will but by her high permission ; 
AVho has not sixpence but in her possession ; 
"Who must to her his dear friend's secret tell ; 
AVho dreads a curtain-lecture worse than hell. 
Were such the wife had fallen to my part, 
I 'd break her spirit, or I 'd break her heart ; 
I 'd charm her with the made of a switch, 
I 'd kiss her maids, and kick the perverse b — h. 


Fill me with the rosy wine. 
Call a toast — a toast divine ; 
Give the Poet's darliug flame, 
Lovely Jessie be the name ; 
Then thou mayest freely boast, 
Thou hast given a peerless toast. 


Say, sages, what 's the charm on earth 
Can turn death's dart aside '( 

It is not purity and worth, 
Else Jessie had not died. 

188 burns' poems. 


But rarely seen since nature's birth 

The natives of the sky ; 
Yet still one seraph's left on earth, 

For Jessie did not die. 


Instead of a song, boys, I '11 give you a toast, 
Here 's the memory of those on the twelfth that we lost ; 
That we lost, did I say '? nay, by heaven, that we found ! 
For their fame it shall last while the world goes round. 
The next in succession, I '11 give you the King, 
Whoe'er would betray hira, on high may he swing ; 
And here 's the grand fabric, our free Constitution, 
As built on the base of the great Revolution ; 
And longer with politics not to be cramm'd, 
Be Anarchy cursed, and be Tyranny damn'd ; 
And who would to Liberty e'er prove disloyal, 
May his son be a hangman, and he his first trial. 


Talk not to me of savages 
From Afric's burning sun, 

No savage e'er could rend my heart 
As, Jessy, thou hast done. 

1 ( 

A toast : ' at a meeting of the Dumfriesshire Volunteers, held to com- 
memorate the anniversary of Rotlney's victory, April 12th, 1 782, Burns was 
called upon ibr a song, instead of which he delivered the above lines extem- 


But, Jessy's lovelj hand in mine, 

A mutual faith to plight, 
Not even to vieM^ the heavenly choir 

Would be so blest a sight. 



What dost thou in that mansion fair ? 

Flit, Galloway, and find 
Some narrow, dirty, dungeon cave, 

Tlie picture of thy mind ! 


No Stewai't art thou, Galloway, 
The Stewarts all were brave ; 

Besides, the Stewarts were but fools, 
Not one of them a knave. 


Bright ran thy line, Galloway ! 

Through many a far-famed sire- 
So ran the far-famed Roman way, 

So ended in a mire. 

190 burns' poems. 



Spare rae thj vengeance, Galloway, 

In quiet let me live : 
I ask no kindness at thy hand, 

For thou hast none to give. 



Curse on ungrateful man, that can be pleased. 
And yet can starve the author of the pleasure ! 
thou my elder brother in misfortune. 
By far my elder brother in the Muses, 
With tears I pity thy unhappy fate ! 
Why is the bard unpitied by the world, 
Yet has so keen a relish of its pleasures ? 


1 We cam' na here to view your warks, 

In hopes to be mair wise, 
But only, lest we gang to hell, 
It may be nae surprise : 

2 But whan we tirled at your door, 

Your porter dought na hear us ; 
Sae may, should we to hell 's yetts come, 
Your billie Satan sair us ! 




1 Once fondly loved, and still remember'd dear, 

Sweet early object of my youthful vows, 
Accept this mark of friendship, warm, sincere ; 
Friendship ! 'tis all cold duty now allows. 

2 And when you read the simple, artless rhymes, 

One friendly sigh for him — he asks no more — 
Who distant burns in flaming torrid climes, 
Or haply lies beneath th' Atlantic roar. 



1 My blessings on you, sonsy wife ; 

I ne'er was here before ; 
You 've gi'en us walth for horn and knife, 
Nae heart could wish for more. 

2 Heaven keep you free frae care and strife, 

Till far ayout fourscore ; 
And while I toddle on through life, 
I '11 ne'er gang by your door. 



•What of lords with whom you have supp'd, 
And of dukes that you dined with yestreen ! 

A louse, sir, is still but a louse. 

Though it crawl on the locks of a queen. 

192 ' burns' poems. 




Cease, ye prudes, your envious railing ; 

Lovely Burns has charms — confess I 
True it is, she has one failing — 

Had a woman ever less'? 




A CAULD, cauld kirk, and in 't but few, 
A cauldcr minister never spak : 

His sermon made us a' turn blue, 
But it 's be warm ere I come back. 


Wae worth thy power, thou cursed leaf, 

Fell source o' a' my woe and grief! 

For lack o' thee I 've lost my lass. 

For lack o' thee I scrimp my glass. 

I see the children of affliction 

Unaided, through thy cursed restriction. 

I 've seen the oppressor's cruel smile 

Amid his hapless victim's spoil, 

And for thy potence vainly wish'd 

To crush the villain in the dust. 

For lack o' thee I leave this much -loved shore. 

Never, perhaps, to greet old Scotland more. 

R. B., Kyle. 

' Tlie Mi?s Burns of these lines was more notorious than reputal)le in Edin- 
burgh at the period when Burns first visited tiiat cit}'. 

LINES. . 193 




Friday first 's the day appointed, 
Bj our Right Worshipful anointed, 

To hold our gi-and procession ; 
To get a blaud o' Johnnie's morals, 
And taste a swatch o' Manson's barrels, 

r the way of our profession. 
Our Master and the Brotherhood 

Wad a' be glad to see you ; 
For me I would be mair than proud 
To share the mercies wi' you. 
If death then, wi' scaith then, 

Some mortal heart is hechtin', 
Inform him, and storm ^ him, 
That Saturday ye '11 fecht him. 

Robert Burns. 


written on a TVINDOW of the globe tavern, DUMFRIES. 

The graybeard, old Wisdom, may boast of his treasures, 

Give me with gay Folly to live ; 
I grant him his calm-blooded, time-settled pleasures, 

But Folly has raptures to give. 

' ' Storm : ' that is, threaten him. 





1 I MUEDER hate, by field or flood, 

Though glory's name may screen us ; 
In wars at hame I '11 spend my blood, 
Life-giving wars of Venus. 

2 The deities that I adore. 

Are social peace and plenty ; 
I 'm better pleased to make one more, 
Than be the death o' twenty. 


In politics if thou wouldst mix, 
And mean thy fortunes be ; 

Bear this in mind, be deaf and blind, 
Let great folks hear and see. 





Ask why God made the gem so small. 

And why so huge the granite 1 
Because God meant mankind should set 

The higher Take on it. 





Ye hypocrites ! are these your pranks, 
To murder men, and gie God thanks "? 
For shame ! gie o'er, proceed no further — 
God won't accept your thanks for murther ! 



Here Stuarts once in glory reign'd, 

And laws for Scotia's weel ordain'd ; 

But now unroof'd their palace stands, 

Their sceptre 's sway'd by foreign hands. 

The Stuarts' native race is gone ! 

A race outlandish fills their throne — 

An idiot race, to honour lost : 

Who know them best, despise them most. 

Bums, who was then a zealous Jacobite, being reproved by a friend for tlie 
above lines, replied, " I shall reprove myself; " and immediately wrote the 
following lines on the same pane : — 


Rash mortal, and slanderous poet, thy name 

Shall no longer appear in the records of fame ; 

Dost not know that old Mansfield, who writes like the Bible, 

Says the more 'tis a truth, sir, the more 'tis a libel ? 

196 burns' poems. 



Like ^sop's lion, Burns says, ' Sore I feel 
All Others' scorn — but damn that ass's heel.' 




Ye men of wit and wealth, why all this sneering 
'Gainst poor excisemen 1 give the cause a hearing ; 
What are jour landlords' rent-rolls 1 — taxing ledgers ; 
What premiers 1 what even monarchs ? — mighty gangers ; 
Nay, what are priests, those seeming-godly wisemen. 
What are they, pray, but spiritual excisemen ? 




Kemble, thou cur'st my unbelief 

Of Moses and his rod ; 
At Yarico's sweet notes of grief. 

The rock with tears had flow'd. 



Grant me, indulgent Heaven ! that I may live 
To see the miscreants feel the pains they give ; 
Deal Freedom's sacred treasures free as air, 
Till slave and despot be but things which were. 





He who of Rankine sang lies stiff and dead. 
And a green grassy billock hides his head ; 
Alas ! alas ! an awful chancre indeed ! 


Through and through the inspired leaves, 
Ye maggots, make your windings ; 

But, oh ! resjDect his lordship's taste. 
And spare his golden bindings ! 


The Solemn League and Covenant 

Cost Scotland blood — cost Scotland tears ; 

But it seal'd freedom's sacred cause — 
If thou 'rt a slave, indulge thy sneers. 


Ye true ' Loyal Natives,' attend to my song ; 

In uproar and riot rejoice the night long ; 

From envy and hatred your corps is exempt ; 

But where is your shield from the darts of contempt 1 

'' ' Loyal Natives : ' a club in Dumfries, one of whose members sent aii 
abusive epigram to Burns, who replied in the above impromptu. 

198 burns' poems. 



1 I AM a keeper of the law 

In some sma' points, although not a' ; 
Some people tell me gin I fa', 

Ae way or ither, 
The breaking of ae point, though sma', 

Breaks a' thegither. 

2 I hae been in for 't ance or twice, 
And winna say o'er far for thrice, 
Yet never met with that surprise 

That broke my rest. 
But now a rumour's like to rise, 

A whaup 's i' the nest. 


To Riddel, much lamented man, 

This ivied cot was dear ; 
Reader, dost value matchless worth ? 

This ivied cot revere. 



There 's death in the cup — sae beware ! 

Nay, more — there is danger in touching ; 
But v/ha can avoid the fell snare ? 

The man and his wine 's sae bewitching ! 



1 Whoe'er he be tliat sojourns here, 

I pitj much his case, 
Unless he come to wait upon 
The Lord their God, his Grace. 

2 There 's naething here but Highland pride, 

And Highland scab and hunger ; 
If Providence has sent me here, 
'Twas surely in his anger. ^ 


In se'enteen hundred fortj-nine 
Satan took stuff to make a swine, 

And cuist it in a corner ; 
But wililj he changed his plan, 
And shaped it something like a man. 

And ca'd it Andrew Turner. 


1 Death, hadst thou but spared his life 

Whom we this day lament ! 
We freely wad exchanged the wife, 
And a' been weel content. 

2 Even as he is, cauld in his grafF, 

The swap we yet will do 't ; 
Tak thou the carlin's carcase aff, 
Thou 'se get the saul to boot. 

' Tliis was written at Inverary, on an imaginary sligiit at the inn, by the 
indignant poet. 

200 burns' poems. 


One Queen Artemisa, as old stories tell, 

When deprived of her husband she loved so well, 

In respect for the love and affection he 'd show'd her, 

She reduced him to dust, and she drank off the powder. 

But Queen Netherplace, of a different complexion. 
When call'd on to order the funeral direction. 
Would have eat her dead lord, on a slender pretence, 
Not to show her respect, but — to save the expense, 


The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying, 
So whip ! at the summons old Satan came flying ; 
But when he approach'cl where poor Francis lay moaning, 
And saw each bed-post with its burden a-groaning, 

Astonish'd, confounded, cried Satan, ' By , 

I'll want 'ira, ere I take such a damnable load ! ' 


thou whom Poetry abhors, 
Whom Prose has turned out of doors! 
Heardst thou that groan — proceed no further, 
'Twas laurell'd Martial roaring murder. 


Oh, had each Scot of ancient times, 
Been Jeanie Scott, as thou art ; 

The bravest heart on English ground. 
Had yielded like a coward. 




HoxEST Will 's to lieaTen gane, 
And monj shall lament him ; 

His faults thej a' in Latin lay, 
In English nane ere kent them. 


1 Lament him, Mauchline husbands a', 

He aften did assist ye ; 
For had ye staid whole weeks awa', 
Your wives they ne'er had miss'd ye. 

2 Ye Mauchline bairns, as on ye pass. 

To school in bands thegither, 
Oh, tread ye lightly on his grass, 
Perhaps he was your father. 


1 Here lies Johnnie Piaeon : 
What was his religion, 

Whae'er desires to ken. 
To some other warl' 
Maun follow the carl, 

For here Johnnie Pigeon had nane. 

2 Strong ale was ablution, 
Small beer persecution, 

A dram was memento mori; 
But a full flowing bowl, 
Was the saving his soul. 

And port was celestial glory. 



As father Adam first was fool'd, 
A case that 's still too common, 

Here lies a man a woman ruled — 
The devil ruled the woman. 


Here lie Willie Michie's banes, 

Satan ! when ye tak him, 
Gie him the schoolin' o' your weans : 

For clever deils he '11 mak 'em ! 


Here lies a mock Marquis, whose titles were shamm'd ; 
If ever he rise, it will be to be d — d. 


Sic a reptile was AVatt, 
Sic a miscreant slave, 

That even the worms d — d him 
When laid in his grave. 


2 ' In his flesh there 's a famine,' 
A starved reptile cries ; 
' And his heart is rank poison,' 
Another replies. 


Here lies John Bushbj, honest man ! 
Cheat him, Devil, if you can. 



Ye maggots, feed on Nicol's brain, 
For few sic feasts jou 've gotten ; 

Yoii 've got a prize o' Willie's heart, 
For deil a bit o 't 's rotten. 


Here lies with Death anld Grizel Grim, 

Lincluden's ngly witch ; 
Death ! how horrid is thy taste 

To lie with such a b- ! 

ON W - — -. 

Stop thief! dame Nature cried to Death, 
As Willie drew his latest breath ; 
You have my choicest model ta'en, 
How shall I make a fool again 1 


Rest gently, turf, upon his breast, 
His chicken heart 's so tender ; 

But rear huge castles on his head, 
His skull will prop them under. 


Here Brewer Gabriel's fire 's extinct, 

And empty all his barrels ; 
He 's blest — if as he brcw'd he drink — ■ 

In upright, honest morals. 


1 Here lies a rose, a budding rose, 
Blasted before its bloom ; 
Whose innocence did sweets disclose 
Beyond that flower's perfume. 

204 burns' poems. 

2 To those who for her loss are grieved, 
This consohition 's given — 
She 's from a world of woe relieved, 
And blooms a rose in heaven. 


1 In wood and wild, ye warbling throng, 
Your heavy loss deplore ! 

Now half extinct your powers of song- 
Sweet Echo is no more. 

2 Ye jarring, screeching things around. 
Scream your discordant joys ! 

Now half your din of tuneless song 
With Echo silent lies. 


Bless the Redeemer, Cardoness, 

With grateful lifted eyes, 
Who said that not the soul alone. 

But body too, must rise ; 
For had he said, ' The soul alone 

From death I will deliver : ' 
Alas, alas, Cardoness ! 

Then thou hadst slept for ever f 


Earth'd up here lies an imp o' hell, 
Planted by Satan's dibble — 

Poor silly wretch, he 's d — d himsel'. 
To save the Lord the trouble. 




1 The titber morn. 
When I, forlorn, 

Aneath an aik sat moaning, 

I did na trow, 

I 'd see mj jo 
Beside me gin the gloaming. 

But be sae trig, 

Lap o'er tbe rig, 
And dawtinglj did cbeer me, 

Wben I, wbatreck, 

Did least expec' 
To see my lad so near me. 

2 His bonnet be, 
A tbougbt ajee, 

Cock'd sprusb wben first be clasp'd me ; 

And I, I wat, 

Wi' fainness grat, 
Wbile in bis grips be press'd me. 

Deil tak tbe war ! 

I late and air, 
Ilae wisb'd since Jock departed ; 

But now as glad 

I 'ra wi' mj lad, 
As sbort syne brokcn-beartcd. 

3 Fu' aft at e'en 
Wi' dancing keen, 

Wben a' were blitbe and merry, 
I cared na by, 
Sae sad was I, 

206 burns' poems. 

In absence o' my dearie. 

But, praise be blest. 
My mind 's at rest, 

I 'm happj wi' my Johnnie ; 
At kirk and fair, 
I 'se aye be there. 

And be as canty 's ony. 


Tune — ' Eppie Macnab/ 

1 Oh, saw ye my dearie, my Eppie M'Nab 1 
Oh, saw ye my dearie, my Eppie M'Nab '? 
She 's down in the yard, she 's kissin' the laird, 
She winna come hame to her ain Jock Rab. 
Oil, come thy ways to me, my Eppie M'Nab ! 
Oh, come thy ways to me, my Eppie M'Nab ! 
Whate'er thou hast done, be it late, be it soon, 
Thou 's welcome again to thy ain Jock Rab. 

2 What says she, my dearie, my Eppie M'Nab 1 
What says she, my dearie, my Eppie M'Nab ? 
She lets thee to wot, that she has thee forgot, 
And for ever disowns thee, her ain Jock Rab. 
Oh, had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie M' Nab ! 
Oh, had I ne'er seen thee, my Eppie M'Nab! 
As light as the air, and fause as thou's fair. 
Thou 's broken the heart o' thy ain Jock Rab. 



Tune — ' Ye 're welcome, Charley Stewart' 

1 LOVELY Pollj Stewart ! 

charming Polly Stewart ! 
There 's not a flower that blooms in May 

That 's half so fair as thou art. 
The flower it blaws, it fades and fa's, 

And art can ne'er renew it ; 
But worth and truth eternal youth 

Will give to Polly Stewart. 

2 May he whose arms shall fauld thy charms 

Possess a leal and true heart ; 
To him be given to ken the heaven 

He grasps in Polly Stewart ! 
lovely Polly Stewart ! 

charming Polly Stewart ! 
There 's ne'er a flower that blooms in May 

That 's half so sweet as thou art. 


Tune — ' Ifthou'lt play me fair play.' 

' The bonniest lad that e'er I saw, 

Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie ; 
Wore a plaid, and was fu' braw, 

Bonnie Highland laddie. 
On his head a bonnet blue, 

Bonnie laddie, lliiihland laddie ; 
His loyal heart was firm and true, 

Bonnie Highland laddie.' 

' This song partly old. 

208 burns' poems. 

2 ' Trumpets sound, and cannons roar, 

Bonnie lassie, Lowland lassie ; 
And a' the hills \vi' echoes roar, 

Bonnie Lowland lassie. 
Glory, honour, now in^dte, 

Bonnie lassie, Lowland lassie, 
For freedom and my king to fight, 

Bonnie Lowland lassie.' 

3 ' The sun a backward course shall take, 

Bonnie laddie. Highland laddie. 
Ere aught thy manly courage shake, 

Bonnie Highland laddie. 
Go ! for yourself procure renown, 

Bonnie laddie, Highland laddie ; 
And for your lawful king, his crown, 

Bonnie Highland laddie.' 


Tune — ' Miss Miiir' 

1 Oh, how shall I, unskilfu', try 
The poet's occupation, 

The tunefu' powers, in happy hours. 

That whisper inspiration 1 
Even they maun dare an effort raair, 

Than aught they ever gave us. 
Or they rehearse, in equal verse. 

The charms o' lovely Davies. 

2 Each eye it cheers, when she appears, 
Like Phoebus in the morninof. 

When past the shower, and every flower 
The garden is adorning. 

• Lovely Davies : ' a young lady from Pembrokeshire, •whom Burns met at 
the Piiddeli's— very pretty, witty, and ivee. Her fate was unhappy. 

1 ( 

nithdale's welcome hame. 209 

As the wretch looks o'er Siberia's shore, 
When winter-bound the wave is, 

Sae droops our heart when we maun part 
Frae charming, lovely Davies. 

3 Her smile 's a gift, frae 'boon the lift. 

That makes us mair than princes ; 
A sceptred hand, a king's command, 

Is in her dartinsf glances : 
The man in arms, 'gainst female charms, 

Even he her willinsf slave is ; 
He hugs his chain, and owns the reign 

Of conquering, lovely Davies. 

4 My Muse to dream of such a theme, 

Her feeble powers surrenders ; 
The eagle's gaze alone surveys 

The sun's meridian splendours : 
I wad in vain essay the strain, 

The deed too daring brave is ; 
I '11 drap the lyre, and mute admire 

The charms o' lovely Davies. 


1 The noble Maxwells and their powers 

Are coming o'er the Border, 
x\nd they '11 gac bigg Tcrreagles towers, 

And set them a' in order. 
And they declare Tcrreagles fair, 

For their abode they choose it ; 
There 's nae a heart in a' the land, 

But's lighter at the ncM's o't. 



2 Though stars in skies may disappear, 

And angry tempests gather ; 
The happy hour may soon be near 

That brings us pleasant weather : 
The weary night o' care and grief 

May hae a joyful morrow ; 
So dawning day has brought relief— 

Fareweel our night o' sorrow ! 


Tune — ' Rmn Meudial mo Mhealladh.' 

1 As I was a-wand'ring ae midsummer e'enin', 

The pipers and youngsters were making their game ; 
Amang them I spied my faithless fause lover, 
Which bled a' the wounds o' my dolour again. 

2 Weel, since he last left me, may pleasure gae wi' him ; 

I may be distress'd, but I winna complain ; 
I flatter my fancy I may get anither. 

My heart it shall never be broken for ane, 

3 I couldna get sleepin' till dawin' for greetin'. 

The tears trickled down like the hail and the rain ; 
Had I na got greetin', my heart wad a broken. 
For, oh ! love forsaken 's a tormenting pain. 

4 Although he has left me for greed o' the siller, 

I didna envy him the gains he can win : 
I rather wad bear a' the lade o' my sorrow. 
Than ever hae acted sae faithless to him. 



Tune — ' The Maid's Complaint.' 

1 It is na, Jean, tliy bonnie face 

Nor shape that I admire. 
Although thy beauty and thy grace 

Might weel awake desire. 
Something, in ilka part o' thee, 

To praise, to love, I find ; 
But dear as is thy form to me, 

Still dearer is thy mind. 

2 Nae mair uugen'rous wish I hae 

Nor stronger in my breast. 
Than if I canna mak thee sae. 

At least to see thee blest. 
Content am I, if Heaven shall give 

But happiness to thee : 
And as wi' thee I'd wish to live, 
For thee I 'd bear to die. 


Tune — ' Jachy Latin.' 

' On, gat ye me, oh, gat ye me. 

Oh, gat ye me wi' naething '{ 
Rock and reel and spinning-whccl, 

A mickle quarter basin. 
Bye attour, my gutcher has 

A heich house and a laigh ane, 
A' forbye my bonnie sel', 

The toss of Ecclefcchan,' 

' An English song, Scottiiicd. 

212 burns' poems. 

' Oil, hand your tongue now, Luckie Laing, 

Oh, haud your tongue and jauner ; 
I held the gate till you I met, 

Syne I began to wander : 
I tint my whistle and my sang, 

I tint my peace and pleasure ; 
But your green grafF, now, Luckie Laing, 

Wad airt me to my treasure.' 

Tune — ' Lord Breadalbane's March,' 

1 Oh, merry hae I been teethin' a heckle, 

And merry hae I been shapin' a spoon ; 
Oh, merry hae I been cloutin' a kettle. 

And kissin' my Katie when a' was done. 
Oh, a' the lang day I ca' at my hammer. 

And a' the lang day I whistle and sing, 
A' the lang night I cuddle my kimmer, 

And a' the lang night am as happy 's a king. 

2 Bitter in dool I lickit my winnins, 

0' marrying Bess, to gie her a slave : 
Blest be the hour she cool'd in her linens, 

And blithe be the bird that sings on her grave. 
Come to my arms, my Katie, my Katie, 

And come to my arms and kiss me again ! 
Drunken or sober, here 's to thee, Katie ! 

And blest be the day I did it again. 



Tune — ' Carron Side.' 

1 Fkae the friends and land I love 

Driven bj fortune's felly spite, 
Frae my best beloved I rove, 

Never mair to taste delight ; 
Never mair maun hope to find 

Ease frae toil, relief frae care ; 
When remembrance wracks the mind, 

Pleasures but unveil despair. 

2 Brightest climes shall mirk appear, 

Desert ilka blooming shore, 
Till the Fates, nae mair severe. 

Friendship, love, and peace restore ; 
Till Revenge, wi' laurell'd head. 

Bring our banish'd hame again ; 
And ilk loyal bonnie lad 

Cross the seas and wia his ain. 


Tune — ' Aiva\ Whigs, awa'.' 


Awa', Whigs, awa' ! 

Awa', Whigs, awa' ! 
Ye 're but a pack o' traitor louns, 

Ye '11 do nae good at a'. 

Our thrissles flourish'd fresh and fair, 
And bonnie bloom'd our roses ; 

But Whigs came like a frost in Juno, 
And wither'd a' our posies. 

' This song is only in part that of Burns. 

214 burns' POEMS. 

2 Our ancient crown 's fa'n in tlie dust — 

Deil blin' them wi' the stour o't, 
And write their name in his black beuk, 
Wha gae the Whigs the power o't. 

3 Our sad decay in Church and State 

Surpasses mj descriving ; 
The Whigs came o'er us for a curse, 
And we hae done wi' thriving. 

4 Grim Vengeance lang has ta'en a nap. 

But we may see him wauken ; 
Gude help the day when royal heads 
Are hunted like a maukin ! 


Tune — ' Killiecranhie.' 

Where hae je been sae braw, lad % 

Where hae ye been sae brankie, ? 
Oh, where hae ye been sae braw, lad % 

Cam ye by Killiecrankie, 1 
An ye had been where I hae been, 

Ye wadna been sae cantie, ! 
An ye had seen what I hae seen, 

On the braes o' Killiecrankie, I 

I fought at land, I fought at sea ; 

At hame I fought my auntie, ! 
But I met the devil and Dundee, 

On the braes o' Killiecrankie, ! 
The bauld Pitcur fell in a furr, 

And Clavers got a clankie, 0! 
Or I had fed an Athole gled 

On the braes o' Killiecrankie, 01 

simmer's a pleasant time. 215 


Oh, gude ale comes and gude ale goes, 
Gude ale gars me sell mj hose, 
Sell mv hose, and pawn my shoon, 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 
I had sax owsen in a pleiigh. 
They drew a' weel enough ; 
I sell'd them a' just ane by ane, 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 

Gude ale bauds me bare and busy, 
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie, 
Stand i' the stool when I hae done, 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 
Oh, gude ale comes and gude ale goes, 
Gude ale gars me sell my hose, 
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon, 
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon. 


Tune — ' Aye luauhin! ! ' 

1 Simmer 's a pleasant time, 
Flowers of every colour ; 
The water rins o'er the heugh, 
And I long for my true lover. 
Aye waukin', ! 

Waukin' still and wearie : 
Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking on mv dearie. 

' An old song slightly amended. 

216 burns' poems. ' 

2 When I sleep I dream, 

When I wauk I 'm eerie ; 
Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking on mj dearie. 

3 Lanelj night comes on 

A' the lave are sleepin'; 
I think on my bonnie lad, 
, And I bleer my e'en wi' greetin'. 
Aye waukin', ! 

Waukin' still and wearie : 
Sleep I can get nane 

For thinking on my dearie. 

Tune — ' Jamie, come try me.' 


Jamie, come try me, 
Jamie, come try me ; 
If thou would win my love, 
Jamie, come try me. 

1 If thou should ask my love, 

Could I deny thee "? 
If thou -would win my love, 
Jamie, come try me. 

2 If thou should kiss me, love, 

Vf ha could espy thee 1 
If thou wad be my love, 
Jamie, come try me. 




Robin sliure in hairst, 

I shure wi' him ; 
Fient a lieiik had I, 

Yet I stack bj him. 

1 I gaed up to Dimse 

To warp a wab o' plaiden ; 
At his daddie's jett 

Wha met me but Robin 1 

2 Was na Robin bauld, 

Though I was a cottar, 
Play'd me sic a trick, 

x\nd me the elder's dochter ? 

3 Robin promised me 

A' my winter vittle ; 
Fient haet he had but three 
Goose feathers and a whittle. 


There 's news, lasses, news, 

Guid news I 've to tell, 
There 's a boatfu' o' lads 
Come to our town to sell. 
The wean wants a cradle, 

And the cradle wants a cod ; 
And I '11 no gang to my bed 
Until I get a nod. 

218 burns' poems. 

2 Father, quo' she, mither, quo' she, 

Do what je can, 
I '11 no gang to mj bed, 
Till I get a man. 

3 I hae as guid a craft rig 

As made o' yird and stane ; 
And waly fa' tlie lej-crap. 
For I maun till 't again. 


1 Oh, that I had ne'er been married, 

I -wad never had nae care ; 
Now I 've gotten wife and bairns, 
And they cry crowdie evermair. 
Ance crowdie, twice crowdie. 

Three times crowdie in a day, 
Gin ye crowdie ony mair. 

Ye '11 crowdie a' my meal away. 

2 Waefu' want and hunger fley me, 

Glowrin' by the hallan en'; 
Sair I fecht them at the door, 
But aye I'm eerie they come ben. 

Tune — 'At Setting Day.' 

Could aught of song declare my pains, 
Could artful numbers move thee. 

The Muse should tell, in labour'd strains, 
Mary, how I love thee ! 


Thej who but feign a wounded heart, 

Maj teach tlie Ijre to languish : 
But what avails the pride of art, 

When wastes the soul with anguisli 1 

2 Then let the sudden bursting sigh, 

The heartfelt pang discover ; 
And in the keen, yet tender eye, 

Oh, read tli' imploring lover ! 
For well I know thy gentle mind 

Disdains art's gay disguising, 
Beyond what fancy e'er refined, 

The voice of nature prizing. 


Tune — 'Laggan Burn.' 
Here 's to thy health, my bonnie lass, 

Gude night and joy be wi' thee : 
I '11 come nae mair to thy bower-dcor, 

To tell thee that I lo'e thee. 
Oh, dinna think, my pretty pink, ^/- 

But I can live without thee : 
I vow and swear I dinna care 

Hovv^ lang ye look about ye. 

Thou 'rt aye sae free informing me 

Thou hast nae mind to marry ; 
I'll be as free informing thee 

Nae time hao I to tarry. 
I ken thy friends try ilka means 

Frae wedlock to delay thee, 
Depending on some higher chance — • 

But fortune may betray thee. 

220 burns' poems. 

S I ken the J scorn my low estate, 

But that does never grieve me ; 
But I 'm as free as any he, 

Sma' siller will relieve me. 
I count my health my greatest wealth, 

Sae lang as 1 11 enjoy it : 
I'll fear nae scant, I'll bode nae want, 

As lang 's I get employment. 

4 But far-off fowls hae feathers fair, 

And aye until ye try them : 
Though they seem fair, still have a care. 

They may prove waur than I am. 
But at twal at night, when the moon shines briglit, 

My dear, I '11 come and see thee ; 
For the man that lo'es his mistress weel, 

Nae travel makes him weary. 


Tune — ' Oh, steer Jier up, and hand her gaun' 

1 Oh, steer her up, and hand her gaun — 

Her mother's at the mill, jo ; 
And gin she winna take a man, 

E'en let her take her will, jo : 
First shore her wi' a kindly kiss, 

And ca' anither gill, jo ; 
And gin she take the thing amiss. 

E'en let her flyte her fill, jo. 

2 Oh, steer her up, and be na blute. 

And gin she take it ill, jo. 
Then lea'e the lassie till her fate, 
And time nae langer spill, jo ; 


Ne'er break your heart for ae rebut, 

But think upon it still, jo ; 
Then gin the lassie winna do 't. 

Ye '11 fin' another will, jo. 


Tune — ' Cordiuainers' March.' 

1 Oh, lay thy loof in mine lass, 
In mine, lass, in mine, lass; 

And swear on thy white hand, lass, 

That thou wilt be my ain. 
A slave to love's unbounded sway, 
He aft has wrought me meikle wae ; 
But now he is my deadly fae, 

Unless thou be my ain. 

2 There 's mony a lass has broke my rest, 
That for a blink I hae lo'ed best ; 

But thou art queen within my breast, 

For ever to remain. 
Oh, lay thy loof in mine, lass. 
In mine, lass, in mine, lass;^---- 
And swear on thy white hand, lass. 

That thou wilt be my ain. 


Tune — ' KilliecranUe.' 
1 Oh, wha will to Saint Stephen's house. 
To do our errands there, man 1 

' ' Saint Stephen's House : ' The occasion of this ballad was as follows : — 
When Mr Cuiininghame of Enterkin came to his estate, two mansion-houses 
on it — Enterkin and Annbank— were both in a ruinous state. Wisiiing to 
introduce himself with some eclat to the county, lie got temporary erections 

222 burns' poems. 

Oh, wha will to Saint Stephen's house, 

0' til' merry lads o' Ayr, man 1 
Or will we send a man o' law ? 

Or will we send a sodger ? 
Or him wha led o'er Scotland a' 

The meikle Ursa Major 1 

2 Come, will ye court a noble lord, 

Or buy a score o' lairds, man 1 
For worth and honour pawn their word, 

Their vote shall be Glencaird's, man. 
Ane gies them coin, ane gies them wine, 

Anither gies them clatter ; 
Annbank, wha guess'd the ladies' taste. 

He gies 3i fete champetre. 

3 When Love and Beauty heard the news. 

The gay green-woods amang, man ; 
Where, gathering flowers, and busking bowers. 

They heard the blackbird's sang, man ; 
A vow, they seal'd it with a kiss. 

Sir Politics to fetter, 
As theirs alone, the patent bliss, 

To hold difete champetre. 

4 Then mounted Mirth, on gleesome wing, 

O'er hill and dale she flew, man ; 

made on the banks of Ayr, tastefully decorated with shrubs and flowers, for a 
supper and ball, to which most of the respectable families in the county were 
invited. It was a novelty in the county, and attracted much notice. A dis- 
solution of parliament was soon expected, and the festivity was thought to be 
an introduction to a canvass for representing the county. Several other can- 
didates were spoken of, particularly Sir Jolm Whitefoord, then residing at 
Cloncaird, commonly pronounced Glencaird, and Mr Boswell, the well-known 
biographer of Dr Johnson. The political views of the festive assemblage 
wliich are alluded to in the ballad, if they ever existed, were however laid 
aside, as Mr C. did not canvass the county. 


Ilk wimpling burn, ilk crystal spring, 
Ilk glen and shaw she knew, man ; 

She summon'd every social sprite, 
That sports by wood or water, 

On th' bonnie banks o' Ayr to meet, 
And keep this fete champetre. 

5 Caiild Boreas, wi' his boisterous crew, 

Were bound to stakes like kye, man ; 
And Cynthia's car, o' silver fu', 

Clamb up the starry sky, man : 
Reflected beams dwell in the streams, 

Or down the current shatter ; 
The western breeze steals through the trees, 

To view this fete champetre. 

6 How many a robe sae gaily floats ! 

What sparkling jewels glance, man ! 
To Harmony's enchanting notes, 

As moves the mazy dance, man. 
The echoing wood, the winding flood, 

Like Paradise did glitter. 
When angels met at x'Vdam's yett, 

To hold their /e^e cJiampetre. ~" ^ 

7 When Politics came there, to mix. 

And make his ether-stane,^ man I 
He circled round the magic ground, 

But entrance found he nane, man ; 
He blush'd for shame, he quat his name, 

Forswore it, every letter, 
Wi' humble prayer to join and share 

This festive fete cJiampetre. 

' ' Ether-stane : ' alluiling to tlie little annular stones, supposed to be formed 
from tlie sloughs of adders, but which in reality are Druidical. 

224 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' Cauld is the eenivb blast' 

1 Cauld is the e'enin' blast 

0' Boreas o'er the pool, 
And dawin' it is dreary 

When birks are bare at Yule. 

2 Oh, bitter blaws the e'enin' blast 

When bitter bites the frost, 

And in the mirk and dreary drift 

The hills and glens are lost. 

3 Ne'er sae murky blew the night 

That drifted o'er the hill, 
But bonnie Peg-a-Ramsey 
Gat grist to her mill. 


1 There was a bonnie lass. 
And a bonnie, bonnie lass. 

And she lo'ed her bonnie laddie dear; 
Till war's loud alarms 
Tore her laddie frae her arms, 

Wi' mony a sigh and a tear. 

2 Over sea, over shore, 

Where the cannons loudly roar, 
He still was a stranger to fear : 

And nocht could him quell. 

Or his bosom assail. 
But the bonnie lass he lo'ed sae dear. 




Oh, Mallj 's meek, Mallj 's sweet, 
Mallj 's modest and discreet, 

Mally 's rare, Mallj 's fair, 
Mallj 's everj waj complete. 

1 As I was walking up the street, 

A barefit maid I chanced to meet ; 
But oh ! the road was verj hard 
For that fair maiden's tender feet. 

2 It were mair meet that those fine feet 

Were weel laced up in silken shoon, 
And 'twere more fit that she should sit 
Within jon chariot gilt aboon. 

3 Her jellow hair, bejond compare, 

Comes trinkliug down her swan -white neck ; 
And her two ejes like stars in skies. 
Would keep a sinking ship frae wreck. 


Tune — ' Craigtoiis Growing! 
Oh, Ladj Marj Ann 

Look'd o'er the castle wa'. 
She saw three bonnie bojs 

Plajing at the ba'; 
The jouiigest he was 

The floM'er amang them a', — 
Mj bonnie laddie 's joung, 

But he 's growin' yet. 


2 father ! father ! 

An ye think it fit, 
We '11 send him a year 

To the college yet : 
AVe '11 sew a green ribbon 

Round about his hat, 
And that will let them ken 

He 's to marry yet. 

3 Lady Mary Ann 

Was a flower i' the dew, 
Sweet was its smell, 

And bonnie was its hue ; 
And the langer it blossom'd 

The sweeter it grew ; 
For the lily in the bud 

Will be bonnier yet. 

4 Younsj Charlie Cochrane 

Was the sprout of an aik ; 
Bonnie and bloomin' 

And straught was its make : 
The sun took delight 

To shine for its sake, 
x\nd it will be the brag 

0' the forest yet. 

5 The simmer is gane 

When the leaves they were green, 
And the days are awa' 

That we hae seen ; 
But far better days 

I trust will come again. 
For my bonnie laddie's young, 

But he 's growin' yet. 

r'^ ^^-.^.r ^r-^^-^-r^ > 



Tune — ' Gregg's Pipes.' 


My lady's gown, there 's gairs upon 't, 
And gowden flowers sae rare upon 't ; 
But Jenny's jimps and jirginet, 
My lord thinks muckle mair upon 't. 

1 My lord a-hunting he is gane, 

But hounds or hawks wi' him are nane ; 
By Colin's cottage lies his game, 
If Colin's Jenny be at hame. 

2 My lady 's white, my lady 's red, 
And kith and kin o' Cassilis' blude ; 
But her ten-pund lauds o' tocher guid 
AVere a' the charms his lordship lo'ed. 

3 Out owre yon muir, out owre yon moss, 
Whare gorcocks through the heather pass, 
There wons auld Colin's bonnie lass, - 

A lily in a wilderness ! 

4 Sae sweetly move her genty limbs, 
Like music notes o' lovers' hymns ; 
The diamond dew is her e'en sae blue, 
Where laughing love sae wanton swims. 

5 My lady's dink, my lady's drest, 
The flower and fancy o' the west ; 
But the lassie that a man lo'es best, 
Oh, that 's the lass to make him blest ! 

' An old song amended. 

•223 burns' poems. 



Tune — ' Finlaystoun House! 

1 Fate gave the word, the arrow sped, 

And pierced my darling's heart ; 
And with him all the joj^s are fled 

Life can to me impart. 
By cruel hands the sapling drops, 

In dust dishonoured laid : 
So fell the pride of all my hopes, 

My age's future shade. 

2 The mother linnet in the brake 

Bewails her ravish'd young ; 
So I, for my lost darling's sake. 

Lament the live-day long. 
Death ! oft I 've fear'd thy fatal blow, 

Now, fond, I bare my breast, 
Oh, do thou kindly lay me low 

With him I love, at rest I 


1 Fair the face of orient day, 

Fair the tints of op'ning rose ; 
But fairer still my Delia dawns. 
More lovely far her beauty blows. 

2 Sweet the lark's wild-warbled lay, 

Sweet the tinkling rill to hear ; 
But, Delia, more delightful still, 
Steal thine accents on mine ear ! 

' Burns in this song alludes to Mrs Ferguson of Craigdarrocli, who lost her 
son, a promising youth of eighteen years of age. 


3 The fiower-enamoiir'd busy bee 

The rosy banquet loves to sip ; 
Sweet the streamlet's limpid lapse 
To the sim-brown'd Arab's lip ; 

4 But, Delia, on thy balmy lips 

Let me, no vagrant insect, rove ! 
Oh, let me steal one liquid kiss, 

For oh ! my soul is parch'd with love ! 

Tune — ' Crmgiehurn-ivoocU 


Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie. 
And oh, to be lying beyond thee ; 

Oh, sweetly, soundly, weel may he sleep 
That 's laid in the bed beyond thee ! 

1 Sweet closes the eve on Cragieburu-wood, 

And blithely awaukens the morrow ; 
But the pride of the spring in tlie Cragieburn-wood 
Can yield to me nothing but sorrow. 

2 I see the spreading leaves and flovrers, 

I hear the wild birds singing ; 
But pleasure they hae nane for me. 
While care my heart is wringing. 

3 I canua tell, I maunna tell, 

I darena for your anger ; 
But secret love M'ill break my heart, 
If I conceal it langer. 

' Written on Miss Lorimer, aflcrwards Mrs WlieliKlalc, a fiamc of lliirns, 
who lived at Craigieburn, near to Moffat. 

230 burns' poems. 

4 I see thee gracefu', straight, and tall, 

I see thee sweet and bonnie ; 
But oh, what ^Yill mj torments be, 
If thou refuse thj Johnnie ! 

5 To see thee in anither's arms, 

In love to lie and languisli, 
'Twad be my dead, that will be seen, 
Mj heart wad burst wi' anguish. 

6 But, Jeanie, say thou wilt be mine, 

Say thou lo'es nane before me ; 
iVnd a' my days o' life to come 
I '11 gratefully adore thee. 


Tune — ' To the Weavers gin ye go.' 

1 My heart was ance as blythe and free 

As simmer days ^Yere lang. 
But a bonnie, westlin' weaver lad 
lias gart me change my sang. 


To the w^eavers gin ye go, fair maids. 
To the weavers gin ye go ; 

I rede you right, gang ne'er at night 
To the weavers gin ye go. 

2 My mither sent me to the town. 

To warp a plaidin' wab ; 
But the weary, weary warpin' o't 
Has gart me sigh and sab. 

3 A bonnie, westlin' weaver lad. 

Sat working at his loom : 


He tools' my heart as wi' a net, 
In everj knot and thrum. 

4 I sat beside my warpin'-wlieel, 

And aye I ca'd it roun' ; 
But every shot and every knock, 
My heart it gae a stouu'. 

5 The moon was sinking in the west 

Wi' visage pale and wan, 
As my bonnie westlin' weaver lad 
Convoy 'd me through the glen. 

6 But what was said, or what was done, 

Shame fa' me gin I tell ; 
But, oh ! I fear the kintra soon 
Will ken as weel 's mysel'. 

Tune — ' Duncan Davison/ 

1 There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg, 

And vshe held o'er the rnoors to spin ; 
There was a lad that follow'd her, 

They ca'd him Duncan Davison. 
The moor was drcigli, and Meg was skeigh. 

Her favour Duncan couldua win ; 
For wi' the rokc she wad him knock. 

And aye she shook the temper-pin. 

2 As o'er the moor they liglitly foor, 

A burn was clear, a glen was green, 
Upon tlie banks they eased their shanks, 
And aye she set the wheel between ; 

232 " burns' poems. 

But Duncan swore a halj aith, 

That Meg should be a bride the morn ; 

Then Meg took up her spinnin' graith, 
And flang them a' out o'er the burn. 

3 We '11 big a house — a wee, wee house, 

And we will live like king and queen ; 
Sae blithe and merry we will be 

When je set by the wheel at e'en. 
A man may drink and no be drunk ; 

A man may fight and no be slain ; 
A man may kiss a bonnie lass, 

iVnd aye be welcome back again. 


Tune—' The Biiffians Rant: 

1 In coming by the brig o' Dye 

At Darlet we a blink did tarry ; 
As day was dawiu' in the sky. 

We drank a health to bonnie Mary. 


Theniel Menzies' bonnie Mary, 
Theniel Menzies' bonnie Mary ; 

Charlie Gregor tint his plaidie, 
Kissin' Theniel's bonnie Mary. 

2 Her e'en sae bright, her brow sae w^hite. 

Her hafFet locks as brown's a berry ; 
And aye they dimpl't wi' a smile, 
The rosy cheeks o' bonnie Mary. 

3 We lap and danced the lee-lang day, 

Till piper lads were wae and weary ; 
But Charlie gat the spring to pay. 
For kissin' Theniel's bonnie Mary. 



Tune — ' Macpherson's RanV 

1 Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong, 

The wretch's destinie ! 
Macpherson's time will not be long 
On yonder gallows-tree. 


Sae rantingly, sae wantonly, 

Sae dauntingly gaed he ; 
He play'd a spring, and danced it round, 

Below the gallows-tree. 

2 Oh, what is death but parting breath ? — • 

On many a bloody plain 
I 've dared his ftice, and in this place 
I scorn him yet again ! 

3 Untie these bands from off my hands. 

And briug to me my sword : 
And there's no a man in all Scotland, 
But I '11 brave him at a word. 

4 I 've lived a life of sturt and strife ; 

I die by treacherie : 
It burns my heart I must depart, 
And not avenged be. 

5 Now farewell, light — tliou sunshine bright. 

And all beneath the sky ! 
May coward shame distain his name. 
The wretch that dares not die ! 

234 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' Tlie King of France, he rade a Race.'' 

1 Amang the trees, where humming bees 

At buds and flowers were hinging, ! 
Auld Caledon drew out her drone. 

And to her pipe was singing, ! 
'Twas pibroch, sang, strathspey, ii' reels. 

She dirl'd them^aff" fu' clearly, ! 
When there cam a yell o' foreign squeels, 

That dang her tapsalteerie, ! 

2 Their capon craws, and queer ha ha's. 

They made our lugs grow eerie, I 
The hungry byke did scrape and pike 

Till we were wae and weary, ! 
But a royal ghaist, wha ance was cased 

A prisoner aughteen year awa'. 
He fired a fiddler in the North 

That dang them tapsalteerie, ! 


Tune — ' The Tailor fell through the heel, thimbles 

and a.' 

1 Tpie tailor fell through the bed, tliimbles and a', 
The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles and a' ; 

The blankets were thin and the sheets they were sma'. 
The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles and a'. 

2 The sleepy bit lassie, she dreaded nae ill, 
The sleepy bit lassie, she dreaded nae ill ; 
The weather was cauld, and the lassie lay still. 
She thought that a tailor could do her nae ill. 


3 Gie me the groat again, canny young man, 
Gie me the groat again, canny young man ; 
The day it is short, and the night it is L^ng, 
The dearest siller that ever I wan ! 

4 There 's somebody weary wi' lying her lane, 
There 's somebody weary wi' lying her lane ; 
There 's some that are dowie, I trow wad be fiiin 
To see the bit tailor come skippin' again. 

Tune — ' The Northern Lass.' 

1 Though cruel fate should bid us part, 

Far as the pole and line, 

Her dear idea round my heart 

Should tenderly entwine. 

2 Though mountains rise, and deserts howl, 

And oceans roar between ; 
Yet dearer than my deathless soul, 
I still would love my Jean. 


Tune — ' Highlander' s Lament! 
1 My Harry was a gallant gay, 

Fu stately strode he on the plain : 
But now he 's banish'd far away, 
I 'II never see him back again. 


for him back again ! 

for him back again ! 

1 wad gie a' Knockhaspie's land, 

For Iligliland Harry back again. 

236 burns' POEMS. 

2 AVhen a' the lave gae to their bed, 

I wander dowie up the glen ; 
1 set me down and greet my fill, 
And aje I wish him back again. 

3 Oh, were some villains hano-it hish, 

And ilka body had their ain ! 
Then I might see the jojfu' sight, 
My Highland Harry back again. 


Tune — ' I'll gae nae mair to yon townl 

1 I 'll aye ca' in by yon town. 

And by yon garden green, again ; 
I '11 aye ca' in by yon town, 

And see my bonnie Jean again. 
There 's nane sail ken, there 's nane sail guess, 

What brings me back the gate again ; 
But she, my fairest faithfu lass, 

And stowlins we sail meet acain. 

2 She 'II wander by the aiken tree, 

When trystin'-time draws near again ; 
x\nd when her lovely form I see. 

Oh, haith, she 's doubly dear again ! 
I '11 aye ca' in by yon town. 

And by yon garden green, again ; 
I '11 aye ca' in by yon town, 

And see my bonnie Jean again. 


T u NE — ' BanJcs of Banna' 

1 Yesteeen, I had a pint o' wine, 

A place where body saw iia' ; 
Yestreen lay on this breast of mine 

The gowden locks of Anna. 
The hungry Jew in wilderness, 

Rejoicing o'er his manna. 
Was uaething to my hinny bliss. 

Upon the lips of Anna. 

2 Ye monarchs, tak the east and west, 

Frae Indus to Savannah ; 
Gie me within my straining grasp 

The melting form of Anna ! 
There I '11 despise imperial charms, 

An Empress or Sultana, 
While dying raptures, in her arms, 

I give and take with Anna ! 

3 Awa', thou flaunting god o' day ! 

Awa', tliou pale Diana ! 
Ilk star gae hide thy twinkling ray 

When I 'm to meet my Anna ! 
Come, in thy raven plumage, Night, 

Sun, moon, and stars withdraw a' ; 
And bring an angel pen to write 

My transports wi' my Anna ! 

238 burns' poems. 

Tune — ' The Deil cam fiddling through the town! 

1 The deil cam fiddling through the town, 

And danced awa' wi' the Exciseman, 
And ilka wife cries — ' Auld Mahoun, 

I wish jou luck o' the prize, man ! ' i 


The deil's awa', the deil's awa', 
The deil 's awa' wi' the Exciseman ; 

He 's danced awa', he 's danced awa'. 
He 's danced awa' wi' the Exciseraixn I 

2 We'll mak our maut, we'll brew our drink, 

We '11 dance, and sing, and rejoice, man ; 
And mony braw thanks to the meikle black deil 
That danced awa' wi' the Exciseman. 

3 There's threesome reels, there's foursome reels, 

There's hornpipes and strathspeys, man ; 
But the ae best dance e'er cam' to the land 
^Yas — the deil 's awa' wi' the Exciseman. 


Tune — 'Duncan Gray! 
1 Weary fa' you, Duncan Gray — 
Ha, ha, the girdin' o't ! 
Wae gae by you, Duncan Gray — 

Ha, ha, the girdin' o't ! 
When a' the lave gae to their play, 
Then I maun sit the lee-lang day, 
And jog the cradle wi' my tae, 
And a' for the girdin' o't. 


2 Bonnie was the Lammas moon — 

Ha, ha, the girdiu' o't ! 
Glowrin' a' the hills aboon — 

Ha, ha' the girdin' o't ! 
The girdin' brak, the beast cam down, 
I tint my curch, and baith my shoon ; 
Ahl Duncan, je're an unco loon — 

Wae on the bad girdin' o't ! 

3 But, Duncan, gin ye '11 keep your aith — 

Ha, ha, the girdin' o't ! 
I 'se bless you wi' my hindmost breath — 

Ha, ha, the girdin' o't! 
Duncan, gin ye '11 keep your aith, 
The beast again can bear us baith. 
And auld Mess John will mend the skaith. 

And clout the bad girdin' o't. 

Tune — ' Cauld hlaivs the Wind.' 


Up in the morning's no for me, 
Up in the morning early; 

When a' the hills are cover'd wi' snaw, 
I 'm sure it 's Nvinter fairly. 

1 Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west. 

The drift is driving sairly ; 
Sae loud and shrill I hear the blast, 
I'm sure it's winter fairly. 

2 The birds sit chittering in the thorn, 

A' day they fare but sparely ; 
And lang's the night frao e'en to morn — " 
I'm sure it's winter fairly. 

240 burns' poems. 

3 Up in the morning 's no for me, 
Up in the morning early ; 
When a' the hills are cover'd wi' snaw, 
I 'm sure it 's winter fairly. 


Tune — ' What ivill I do gin my Hoggie dief 
1 What will I do gin my hoggie die ? 
My joy, my pride, my hoggie 1 
My only beast, I had nae mae. 
And TOW, but I was voggie ! 


2 The lee-lang night we watch'd the fauld, 

Me and my faithfu' doggie ; 
We heard nought but the roaring linn, 
Amang the braes sae scroggie. 

3 But the howlet cried frae the castle wa', 

The blitter frae the boggie, 
The tod replied upon the hill — 
I trembled for my hoggie. 

4 When day did daw, and cocks did craw, 

The morning it was foggie ; 
An unco tyke lap o'er the dyke, 
And maist has kill'd my hoggie. 


Tune — ' Heg ca' througiL 

Up wi' the carles o' Dysart, 
And the lads o' Buckhaven, 

And the kimmers o' Largo, 
And the lasses o' Leven. 

HY LOVE she's but A LASSIE YET. 241 


Hej, ca' through, ca' through, 
For we hae meilde ado ; 

Plej, ca' through, ca' through, 
For we hae meikle ado. 

2 We hae tales to tell, 

And we hae sangs to sing ; 
■ We hae pennies to spend, 
And Ave hae pints to bring. 

3 We 11 live a' our days, 

And them that come behin', 
Let them do the like. 

And spend the gear they win. 
Hey, ca' through, ca' through. 

For we hae meikle ado ; 

Hey, ca' through, ca' through, 

For we hae meikle ado. 


Tune — ' Ladi/ Badinscoth's Reel! 

1 My love she 's but a lassie yet. 

My love she 's but a lassie yet ; 
We '11 let her stand a year or twa. 

She '11 no be half sae saucy yet. 
I rue the day I souglit her, ! 

I rue the day I sought her, ! 
Wha gets her needs na say she 's woo'd, 

But he may say he's bought her, ! 

' An old song amended. 


2 Come, draw a clrap o' the best o't jet, 

Come, draw a drap o' the best o't yet 
Gae seek for pleasure where ye will, 

But here I never miss'd it yet. 
We 're a' dry wi' drink in' o't, 

We 're a' dry wi' drinkin' o't ; 
The minister kiss'd the fiddler's wife. 

And couldna preach for thinkin' o't. 

Tune — ' Here 's a health to them that 's awd! 

1 Here 's a health to them that 's awa', 
Here 's a health to them that 's awa' ; 

And wha winna wish gude luck to our cause, 

May never gude luck be their fa' 1 

It's gude to be merry and wise. 

It 's gude to be honest and true, 

It's gude to support Caledonia's cause, 

And bide by the buff and the blue. 

2 Here 's a health to them that 's awa'. 
Here's a health to them that's awa' ; 

Here 's a health to Charlie,^ the chief o' the clan, 
Although that his band be but sma'. 
May Liberty meet M'i' success ! 
May Prudence protect her frae evil ! 
May tyrants and tyranny tine in the mist. 
And wander their way to the devil ! 

3 Here 's a health to them that 's awa', 
Here 's a health to them that 's awa' ; 

' ' Charlie : ' Mr Fox. 


Here's a health to Tammie,^ the Norlan' laddie. 

That lives at the lug o' the law ! 

Here 's freedom to him that wad read, 

Here's freedom to him that wad write ! 

There's nane ever fear'd that the truth should be heard, 

But they wham the truth wad indite. 

Here 's a health to them that 's awa', 
Here 's a health to them that 's awa' ; 
Here 's Chieftain M'Leod, a chieftain worth gowd, 
Though bred amang mountains o' snaw I 
Here 's friends on both sides of the Forth, 
And friends on both sides of the Tweed ; 
And wha wad betray old Albion's rights. 
May the}^ never eat of her bread ! 


1 Now bank and brae are claith'd in green, 

And scatter'd cowslips sweetly spring : 
By Girvan's fairy-haunted stream 

The birdies flit on wanton wing. 
To Cassillis' banks, when e'eniug fa's 

There wi' my Mary let me flee, 
There catch her ilka glance of love, 

The bonnie blink o' Mary's e'e ! 

2 The chield wha boasts o' warld's Nvalth, 

Is aften laird o' meikle care ; 
But ^lary she is a' my ain — 

Ah, Fortune canna gie me mair ! 
Then let me range by Cassillis' banks, 

Wi' her, tlie lassie dear to me, 

' ' Tammie : ' Lord Erskirie. 

244 burns' roEMS. 

And catch her ilka glance o' love. 
The bonnie blink o' Mary's e'e I 


Tune—' Rory Ball's Fort' 

1 Ae fond kiss, and then we sever ; 
Ae fareweel, and then for ever ! 

Deep in heart-wrung tears I '11 pledge thee, 
Warring sighs and groans I '11 wage thee. 
AVho shall say that fortune grieves him 
While the Star of Hope she leaves him 1 
Me, nae cheerfu' twinkle lights me; 
Dark despair around benights me. 

2 I '11 ne'er blame mj partial fancy, 
Naething could resist my Nancy ; 
But to see her, was to love her ; 
Love but her, and love for ever. 
Had we never loved sae kindly, 
Had we never loved sae blindly. 
Never met or never parted, 

We had ne'er been broken-hearted. 

3 Fare-thee-weel, thou first and fairest ! 
Fare-thee-weel, thou best and dearest ! 
Thine be ilka joy and treasure, 
Peace, enjoyment, love, and pleasure ! 
Ae fond kiss, and tlien we sever ; 

x\e fareweel, alas ! for ever ! 

Deep in heart-wrung tears I '11 pledge thee, 

Warring sighs and groans I '11 wage thee. 

' Written on his parting from Clarinda. The verses are beautiful ; but the 
idea of either party being ' broken-hearted,' is purely fanciful. 


Tune — ' TJie honnie Lad that 's far awa'j 

1 Oh, how can I be blithe and glad, 

Or how can I gang brisk and braw, 
When the bonnie lad that I lo'e best 

Is o'er the hills and far awa' '? 
When the bonnie lad that I lo'e best 

Is o'er the hills and far awa' ? 

2 It's no the frosty winter wind, 

It 's no the driving drift and snaw ; 
But aje the tear comes in mj e'e. 

To think on him that's far awa' ; 
But aye the tear comes in my e'e, 

To think on him that 's far awa'. 

3 My father pat me frae his door, 

^ly friends they hae disowned me a', 
But I hae ane will tak my part, 

The bonnie lad that 's far awa' ; 
But I hae ane will tak my part, 

The bonnie lad that 's far awa', 

4 A pair o' gloves he gave to me, 

And silken snoods he gave me twa ; 
And I will wear them for his sake, 

The bonnie lad that 's far awa' ; 
And I will wear them for his sake, 

The bonnie lad that 's far awa'. 

5 The weary winter soon will pass. 

And spring will deed the birken-shaw ; 
And my sweet baby will be born, 

And he'll come hamc that's far awa'; 

246 burns' poems. 

And mj sweet babj will be born, 
And he 11 come hame that's far awa'. 

TuME — ' Charlie Gordon's welcome hame! 

1 Out over the Forth I look to the north, 

But what is the north and its Highlands to me ? 
The south nor the east gie ease to my breast, 
The far foreign land, or the wild-rolling sea. 

2 But I look to the west, when I gae to rest. 

That happy my dreams and my slumbers may be ; 
For far in the west lives he I lo'e best, 
The lad that is dear to my baby and me. 


Tune — ' The Collier Laddie.' 

1 ' Where live ye, my bonnie lass \ 

And tell me what they ca' ye %' 
' My name,' she says, ' is Mistress Jean, 

And I follow the collier laddie ; 
My name,' she says, ' is Mistress Jean, 

And I follow the collier laddie.' 

2 ' Oh, see you not yon hills and dales. 

The sun shines on sae brawlie ! 
They a' are mine, they shall be thine. 

Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie ; 
They a' are mine, and they shall be thine. 

Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie. 

' An old sons altered. 


' Ye shall gang in gay attire, 

Weel buskit up sae gaudy ; 
And ane to wait on every hand, 

Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie ; 
And ane to wait on every hand, 

Gin ye '11 leave your collier laddie.' 

' Though ye had a' the sun shines on, 
And the earth conceals sae lowly, 

I wad turn my back on you and it a', 
And embrace my collier laddie ; 

I wad turn my back on you and it a. 
And embrace my collier laddie. 

' I can win my five pennies in a day, 

And spen 't at night fu' brawlie ; 
And make my bed in the collier's neuk, 

And lie down wi' my collier laddie ; 
And make my bed in the collier's neuk. 

And lie down wi' my collier laddie. 

' Luve for luve is the bargain for me. 

Though the wee cot-house should baud me ; 

And the world before me to win my bread, 
And fair fa' my collier laddie ; 

And the world before me to win my bread, 
And fair fa' my collier laddie.' 


Tune—' The Rvffiaris Rant: 

A' THE lads o' Thornic-bank, 

AVhen they gae to the shore o' Bucky, 
They '11 step in and tak a pint 

Wi' Lady Onlie, honest Lucky ! 



Ladj Onlie, honest Liickj, 

Brews good ale at shore o' Buckj, 

I wish her sale for her gude ale, 
The best on a' the shore o' Buckj. 

2 Her house sae bien, her curch sae clean, 
I wat she is a daintj chuckj ; 
And cheerlie blinks the ingle-gleed 
Of Lad J Onlie, honest Lucky 1 



Tune — ' Up and ivaur them d! 

1 The laddies by the banks o' Nith 

Wad trust his Grace wi' a', Jamie ; 
But he '11 sair them as he sair'd the king — 
Turn tail and rin awa', Jamie. 


Up and waur them a', Jamie, 

Up and waur them a' ; 
The Johnstons hae the guidin' o't, 

Ye turncoat whigs, awa'. 

2 The day he stude his country's friend, 

Or gied her faes a claw, Jamie, 
Or frae puir man a blessin' wan, 

That day the Duke ne'er saw, Jamie. 

3 But wha is he, his country's boast \ 

Like him there is na twa, Jamie ; 
There 's no a callant tents the kye. 
But kens o' Westerha', Jamie. 


4 To end the wark, here 's Whistlebirck, 
Lang may his whistle blaw, Jamie ; 
And Maxwell true o' sterling blue, 
And "we'll be Johnstons a', Jamie. 


Tune — ' To daunton me! 

1 The blude red rose at Yule may bhiAv, 
The simmer lilies bloom in snaw, 

The frost may freeze the deepest sea ; 
But an auld man shall never daunton me. 


To daunton me, and me sae young, 
Wr his fause heart and flatteriucr ton^^ue. 
That is the thing you ne'er shall see ; 
For an old man shall never daunton me. 

2 For a' his meal and a' his maut, 
For a' his fresh beef and his saut. 
For a' his gold and white mouie, 

An auld man shall never daunton me. 

3 His gear may buy him kye and yowes, 
His gear may buy him glens and knowes ; 
But me he shall not buy nor fee, 

For an auld man shall never daunton me. 

4 He hirplcs twafauld as he dow, 

Wi' his teethless gab and his auld beld pow, 
And the rain rains down frac his red bleer'd e'e — 
That auld man shall never daunton me. 


Tune — ' O'er the Water to CliarVie! 

1 Come boat me o'er, come row me o'er. 

Come boat me o'er to Charlie ; 
I '11 gie John Ross anither bawbee, 
To boat me o'er to Charlie. 


We '11 o'er the water and o'er the sea, 
We'll o'er the water. to Charlie ; 

Come weal, come woe, we '11 gather and go, 
And live or die wi' Charlie. 

2 I lo'e weel my Charlie's name, 

Though some there be abhor him : 
But oh, to see aiild Nick gaun hame. 
And Charlie's faes before him ! 

3 I swear and tow by moon and stars. 

And sun that shines so early. 
If I had twenty thousand lives, 
I 'd die as aft for Charlie. 


Tune — ' My Eppie' 

And oh ! my Eppie, 
My jewel, my Eppie ! 
Wha wadua be happy 
Wi' Eppie Adair ^ 

' An old song amended. 


By love, and by beauty, 
By law, and by duty, 
I swear to be true to 
My Eppie iVdair ! 

5 And oh ! my Eppie, 
My jewel, my Eppie ! 
Wha wadna be happy 

Wi' Eppie Adair '? 
A' pleasure exile me, 
Dishonour defile me. 
If e'er I beguile thee. 

My Eppie Adair ! 


Tune — ' Coming through the Rye.' 

1 Coming through the rye, poor body, 

Coming tlirough the rye, 

Slie draiglet a' her petticoatie. 

Coming through the rye. 


Jenny 's a' wat, poor body, 
Jenny 's seldom dry ; 

She draiglet a' her petticoatie 
Coming through the rye. 

2 Gin a body meet a body 

Coming through the rye, 
Gin a body kiss a body, 
Need a body cry ? 

' An old song improved. 


3 Gin a body meet a body 
Coming througli the glen, 
Gin a body kiss a body, 
Need the world ken ? 


Tune — ' Had I the imjte f — slie hade me. 

1 Had I the wyte, had I the wyte, 

Had I the wyte ? — she bade me ; 
She watch'd me by the hie-gate side, 

And up the loan she shaw'd me ; 
And when I wadna venture in, 

A coward loon she ca'd me ; 
Had Kirk and State been in the gate, 

I 'd liohted when she bade me. 


2 Sae craftily she took me ben, 

And bade me make nae clatter ; 
' For our ramgunshoch glum gudeman 

Is out and owre the water : ' 
Whae'er shall say I wanted grace 

When I did kiss and dawt her. 
Let him be planted in my place, 

Syne say I was the fauter. 

3 Could I for shame, could I for shame, 

Could I for shame refused her % 
And wadua manhood been to blame, 

Had I unkindly used her ? 
He claw'd her wi' the riplin'-kame. 

And blue and bluidy bruised her; 
When sic a husband was frae hame, 

What wife but liad excused her 1 


I dighted aye her e'en sae blue. 

And bann'd the cruel randj ; 
And, "vveel I wat, her willing mou' 

Was e'en like susar-candy. 
A gloamin'-shot it was I trow, 

I lighted on the Monday ; 
But I came through the Tysday's dew, 

To wanton Willie's brandy. 


Tune — ' Whistle o'er the lave dt! 

1 First when Maggy was my care, 
Heaven, I thought, was in her air ; 
Now we 're married — spier nae niair— 

Whistle o'er the lave o't. 
Meg was meek, and ]\Ieg was mild, 
Bonnie Meg was nature's child ; 
Wiser men than me 's beguiled — 

Whistle o'er the lave o't. 

2 How we live, my Meg and me. 
How we love and how we 'gree, 

I care na by how few may see — 

Wliistle o'er the lave o't. 
Wha I wisli were masfgots' meat, 
Dish'd up hi her winding sheet, 
I could write — but Meg maun sec 't — 
. Whistle o'er the lave o't. 

254 burns' poems. 


Tune — ' The Deuks dang der my Daddle! 

1 The bairns gat out wi' an unco shout, 

The deuks dang o'er my daddie, I 
The fien'-ma-care, quo' the fenie auld wife, 

He was but a paidlin' bodj, ! 
He paidles out, and he paidles in, 

And he paidles late and early, ! 
This seven lang years I hae lien by his side, 

And he 's but a fusionless carlie, ! 

2 Oh, baud your tongue, my feirie auld wife. 

Oh, baud your tongue now, Nansie, ! 
I 've seen the day, and sae hae ye, 

Ye wadna been sae donsie, ! 
1 've seen the day ye butter'd my brose, 

And cuddled me late and early, ! 
But downa do 's come o'er me now, 

And, oh ! I feel it sairly, ! 

I 1 


Her flowing locks, the raven's wiug, 
Adown her neck and bosom hing ; 
How sweet unto that breast to cling, 

And round that neck entwine her ! 
Her lips are roses wat wi' dew, 
Oh, what a feast her bonnie mou' ! 
Her cheeks a mair celestial hue, 

A crimson still diviner. 

Her flowing locks ' : an im[)romptu composed at Maiicliliiie on seeing a 

beautiful joung ladj' on horseback. 


Tune — ' Young Jockey! 

1 YouxG Jockey was the blithest kd 

In a' our town or here awa' ; 
Fu' blithe he whistled at the gaud, 

Fu' lightly danced he in the ha'. 
He roosed my e'en sae bonnie blue, 

He roosed my waist, sae gently sma' ; 
And aye my heart came to my mou', 

When ne'er a body heard or saw. 

2 My Jockey toils upon the plain, « 

Through wind and weet, through frost and snaw ; 
And o'er the lee I leuk fu' fain, 

When Jockey's owsen hameward ca'. 
And aye the night comes round again. 

When in his arms he taks me a' ; 
And aye he vows he '11 be my ain 

As lang 's he has a breath to draw. 

Tune — * My Wife she dang me! 

1 Oh, aye my wife she dang me. 

And aft my wife did bang me ; 
If ye gie a Moman a' her will, 

Gude faith, she '11 soon o'ergang ye. 
On peace and rest my mind was bent, 

And, fool I was, I married ; 
But never honest man's intent 

As cursedly miscarried. 


2 Some share o' comfort still at last, 

When a' my days are done, man ; 
Mj pains o' hell on earth are past, 

I 'm sure o' bliss aboon, man. 
Oh, aye my wife she dang me. 

And aft my ^Yife did bang me ; 
If ye gie a woman a' her -will, 

Gude faith, she '11 soon o'ergang ye. 


Tune — ' / rede you beware at the hunting! 

1 The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn, 
Our lads gaed a-hunting, ae day at the dawn, 
O'er moors and o'er mosses and mony a glen, 
At length they discover'd a bonnie moor-hen. 


I rede you beware at the hunting, young men ; 
I rede you beware at the hunting, young men ; 
Tak some on the wing, and some as they spring, 
But cannily steal on a bonnie moor-hen. 

? Sweet brushing the dew from the brown heather-bells. 
Her colours betray 'd her on yon mossy fells ; 
Her plumage outlustred the pride o' the spring, 
And oh ! as she wantoned gay on the wing. 

3 iVuld Phoebus himsel', as he peep'd o'er the hill, 
In spite at her plumage he tried his skill ; 
He levell'd his rays where she bask'd on the brae — 
His rays were outshone, and but mark'd where she lay. 


4 They hunted the valley, they hunted the hill ; 
The best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill ; 
But still as the fairest she sat in their sight. 
Then, whirr ! she was over a mile at a flight. 

Tune — ' Last time I cam o'er the Muir.' 

1 Young Peggy blooms our bonniest lass, 

Her blush is like the morning, 
The rosy dawn, the springing grass, 

With early gems adorning : 
Pier eyes outshine the radiant beams 

That gild the passing shower. 
And glitter o'er the crystal streams. 

And cheer each fresh'ning flower. 

2 Her lips, more than the cherries bright, 

A richer dye has graced them, 
They charm th' admiring gazer's sight, 

And sweetly tempt to taste them ; 
Her smile is as the evening mild. 

When feather'd pairs are courting, 
And little lambkins wanton wild, 

In playful bands disporting. 

3 Were Fortune lovely Peggy's foe, 

Such sweetness would relent her, 
As blooming spring unbends the brow 

Of surly, savage winter. 
Detraction's eye no aim can gain 

Her winning powers to lessen ; 
And fretful envy grins in vain, 

The poison'd tooth to fasten. 



4 Ye Powers of honour, love, and truth. 

From every ill defend her ; 
Inspire the highlj-favour'd youth 

The Destinies intend her ; 
Still fan the sweet connubial flame 

Responsive in each bosom, 
And bless the dear parental name 

With many a filial blossom. 

Tune — ' Blue Bonnets* 

1 Powers celestial ! whose protection 

Ever guards the virtuous fair, 
While in distant climes I wander, 

Let my Mary be your care : 
Let her form, sae fair and faultless, 

Fair and faultless as your own, 
Let my Mary's kindred spirit, 

Draw your choicest influence down. 

2 Make the gales you waft around her, 

Soft and peaceful as her breast ; 
Breathing in the breeze that fans her, 

Soothe her bosom into rest : 
Guardian angels I oh, protect her 

When in distant lands I roam ; 
To realms unknown while Fate exiles me. 

Make her bosom still my home. 

' Mary : ' written on Mary Campbell, at the time Burns was preparing to 

go abroad. 


Tune — ' Braes d Balquhidder' 


I 'll kiss tliee yet, yet, 

And I '11 kiss thee o'er again, 

And I '11 kiss thee yet, yet. 
My bouuie Peggy Alison ! 

1 Ilk care and fear, ^Yhen thou art near, 

I ever mair defy them, ! 
Young kings upon their hansel throne 
Are no sae blest as I am, ! 

2 When in my arms, wi' a' thy charms, 

I clasp my countless treasure, ! 

I seek nae mair o' Heaven to share. 

Than sic a moment's pleasure, ! 

3 And by thy e'en, sae bonnie blue, 

I swear I 'm thine for ever, ! 
And on thy lips I seal my vow, 
And break it shall I never, I 


Tune — ' If he he a Butcher neat and trim. 

1 On Cessnock banks there lives a lass, 
Could I describe her shape and mien ; 
The gi-aces of her wcclfarcd face. 

And the glancin' of her sparkling e'en. 


2 She 's fresher than the morning dawn, 

When rising Phcebiis first is seen, 
When dew-drops twinkle o'er the lawn ; 
And she 's tw^a glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

3 She 's stately like yon youthful ash, 

That grows the cowslip braes between, 
And shoots its head above each bush ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

4 She 's spotless as the flowering thorn 

With flowers so white and leaves so green, 
When purest in the dew^ morn ; 

And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

5 Her looks are like the sportive lamb, 

When flowery May adorns the scene, 
That wantons round its bleating dam ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

6 Her hair is like the curling mist 

That shades the mountain-side at e'en. 
When flower-reviving rains are past ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 


Her forehead 's like the show'ry bow, 
When shining sunbeams intervene, 

And gild the distant mountain's brow ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

8 Her voice is like the evening thrush 

That sings on Cessnock banks unseen, 
While his mate sits nestling in the bush ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 


9 Her lips are like the cherries ripe, 

That sunny walls from Boreas screen, 

Thej tempt the taste and charm the sight; 

And she 's twa glancin', sparkliu' e'en, 

10 Her teeth are like a flock of sheep. 

With fleeces newly washen clean, 
That slowly mount the rising steep ; 
And she 's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

1 1 Her breath is like the fragjant breeze 

That gently stirs the blossom'd bean. 
When Phoebus sinks behind the seas ; 
And she's twa glancin', sparklin' e'en. 

12 But it's not her air, her form, her face. 

Though matching beauty's fabled queen ; 
But the mind that shines in every grace, 
And chiefly in her sparklin' e'en ! 


Tune — ' Wae is my heart! 

1 Wae is my heart, and the tear's in my e'e ; 
Lang, lang, joy 's been a stranger to me : 
Forsaken and friendless my burden I bear, 

And the sweet voice o' pity ne'er sounds in my car. 

2 Love, thou hast pleasures ; and deep hae I loved ; 
Love, thou hast sorrows ; and sair liae I proved : 
But this bruised heart that now bleeds in my breast, 
I can feel by its throbbings will soon be at rest. 

3 Oh, if I were where happy I hae been ! 

Down by yon stream and jon bonnie castle-green ; 
For there he is wandering and musing on me, 
Wha wad soon dry the tear frae his Phillis's e'e. 


Tune — ' Up wi' the Ploughman.* 

1 The plougliraan he 's a bonnie lad, 

His mind is ever true, jo ; 
His garters knit below bis knee, 
His bonnet it is blue, jo. 


Then up wi' my ploughman lad, 
And hej my merry ploughman ! 

Of a' the trades that I do ken, 
Commend me to the ploughman. 

2 My ploughman he comes hame at e'en, 

He 's aften wat and weary ; 

Cast off the wat, put on the dry, 

And gae to bed, my dearie ! 

3 I will wash my ploughman's hose, 

And I will dress his o'erlay ; 
I will make my ploughman's bed. 
And cheer him late and early. 

4 I hae been east, I hae been west, 

I hae been at Saint Johnston ; 
The bonniest sight that e'er I saw 
Was the ploughman laddie danciu'. 

5 Snaw-wliite stockins on his legs, 

And siller buckles glancin' ; 
A ffude blue bonnet on his head — 
And oh, but he was handsome ! 


6 Coramend me to the barn-yard, 

And the corn-mou', man ; 
I never gat my coggie foil, 
Till I met wi' the ploughman. 

7 Up 'wi' my ploughman lad, 

And hey my merry ploughman ! 
Of a' the trades that I do ken, 
Commend me to the ploughman. 


1 To thee, loved Nith ! thy gladsome plains, 

Where late wi' careless thought I ranged, 
Though press'd wi' care and sunk in woe. 
To thee I bring a heart unchanged. 

2 I love thee, Nith, thy banks and braes, 

Though memory there my bosom tear ; 
For there he roved that brake my heart, 
Yet to that heart, ah, still how dear ! 

Tune — ' Cock up your beaver.' 

When first my brave Johnnie lad 

Came to this town, 
He had a blue bonnet 

That wanted the crown : 
But now he has gotten 

A hat and a feather — 
Hey, brave Johnnie lad, 

Cock up your beaver ! 

' Purtly old 

264 burns' poems. 

2 Cock up jour beaver, 

And cock it fu' sprush, 
We '11 over the border 

And gie them a brush ; 
There 's somebody there 

We '11 teach better behaviour 
Hey, brave Johnnie lad, 

Cock up your beaver ! 


Tune — ' Failte na Miosg' 

My heart 's in the Highlands, my heart is not here ; 
My heart 's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer ; 
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe — 
My heart's in the Highlands wherever I go. 
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, 
The birth-place of valour, the country of worth ; 
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, 
The hills of the Highlands for ever I love. 

Farewell to the mountains high cover'd with snow ; 
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below : 
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods ; 
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods. 
My heart 's in the Highlands, my heart is not here. 
My heart 's in the Highlands a-chasing the deer ; 
Chasing the wild deer, and following the roe — 
My heart 's in the Highlands M^herever I go, 

' An old song expanded. 


TiTNE — ' Pm o'er young to marry yet' 

1 I AM mj mammy's ae bairn, 

Wi' unco folk I weary, sir ; 
And lying in a man's bed, 

I 'm fley'd it maks me eerie, sir. 


I 'm o'er young to marry yet ; 

I 'm o'er young to marry yet ; 
I 'm o'er young — 'twad be a sin 

To tak me frae my mammy yet. 

2 Hallowmas is come and gane, 

The nights are lang in winter, sir ; 
And you and I in ae bed. 
In troth I darn a venture, sir. 

3 Fu' loud and shrill the frosty wind 

Blaws through the leafless timmer, sir ; 
But if ye come this gate again, 
I '11 aulder be gin simmer, sir. 


Tune — ' Hey tutti, taitiJ 
1 Landlady, count the lawin'. 
The day is near the dawin' : 
Ye 're a' blind drunk, boys. 
And I 'm but jolly fou. 
Hoy tutti, taiti, 
How tutti, taiti — 
Wha 's fou now ? 

' Partly old. 


2 Cog, an je were aye fu', 
Cog, an ye were aye fu', 

I wad sit and sing to you, 
If ye were aye fu'. 

3 Weel may ye a' be f 
111 may we never see ! 
God bless the king, boys. 

And the companie ! 


Tune — ' The weary pund o' Tow! 

1 The weary pund, the weary pund. 

The weary pund o' tow ; 
I think my wife will end her life, 
Before she spin her tow. 

2 I bought my wife a stane o' lint, 

As gude as e'er did grow; 
And a' that she has made o' that, 
Is ae poor pund o' tow. 

3 There sat a bottle in a bole, 

Beyont the ingle low, 
And aye she took the tither souk, 
To drouk the stourie tow. 

4 Quoth I, ' For shame, ye dirty dame, 

Gae spin your tap o' tow ! ' 
She took the rock, and wi' a knock 
She brak it o'er my pow. 


At last her feet — I sang to see 't — 

Gaed foremost o'er the knowe ; 
And or I wad anither jaud, 

I '11 wallop in a tow. 


Tune — ' Bonnie Dundee.' 

1 Oh, whare did je get that hauTer meal bannock'? 

Oh, silly blind body, oh dinna ye see 1 
I gat it frae a brisk young sodger laddie, 

Between Saint Johnston and bonnie Dundee. 
Oh, gin I saw the laddie that gae me 't ! 

Aft has he doudled me upon his knee; 
May Heaven protect my bonnie Scots laddie. 

And send him safe hame to his baby and me ! 

2 My blessin's upon thy sweet wee lippie. 

My blessin's upon thy bonnie e'ebree ! 
Thy smiles are sae like my blithe sodger laddie. 

Thou 's aye the dearer and dearer to me ! 
But I '11 big a bower on yon bonnie banks, 

Where Tay rins wimplin' by sae clear ; 
And I '11 deed thee in the tartan sae fine, 

And mak thee a man like thy daddie dear. 


1 Oh, where gat ye that bonnie blue bonnet ? 

Oh, what makes them aye put the question to me 1 
I gat it frae a bonnie Scots callan, 

Atween Saint Johnston and bonnie Dundee. 
Oh, gin I saw the laddie that gae me 't ! 

Aft has he doudled me upon his knee ; 
May Heaven protect my bonnie Scots laddie. 

And send him safe hamo to his baby and mc ! 

268 burns' poems. 

2 Mj heart has nae room Tvlieu I think on my laddie, 

His dear rosy hafFets bring tears to my e'e — 
But, oh ! he 's awa', and I diuna ken whare he 's — 

Gin we could ance meet, we '11 ne'er part till we die. 
Oh, light be the breezes around him saft blawin', 

And o'er him sweet simmer still blink bounihe, 
And the rich dews o' plenty, around him wide fa'in', 

Prevent a' his fears for my baby and me ! 

3 My blessin's upon that sweet wee lippie ! 

My blessin's upon that bonnie e'ebree ! 
Thy smiles are sae like my blithe sodger laddie, 

Thou 's aye the dearer and dearer to me. 
But I '11 big a bower on yon green bank sae bonnie. 

That 's laved by the waters o' Tay wimplin' clear, 
And deed thee in tartans, my wee smiling Johnnie, 

And make thee a man like thy daddie dear. 

Tune — ' Lass, an I come near thee' 

1 Wha is that at my bower-door % 

Oh, wha is it but Findlay. 
Then gae your gate, ye 'se no be here ! 

Indeed, maun I, quo' Findlay. 
What mak ye, sae like a thief { 

Oh come and see, quo' Findlay ; 
Before the morn ye '11 work mischief ; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 

2 Gif I rise and let ye in 1 

Let me in, quo' Findlay ; 
Ye '11 keep me waukin' wi' your din ; 
Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 

THE RANTIN' dog THE DADDIE o't. 269 

In mj bower if jou should stay 1 

Let me staj, quo' Fiudlaj ; 
I fear ye '11 bide till break o' day ; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 

Here this night if ye remain ; 

I '11 remain, quo' Findlay : 
I dread ye '11 learn the gate again ; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay. 
What may pass within this bower — 

Let it pass, quo' Findlay ; 
Ye maun conceal till your last hour ; 

Indeed will I, quo' Findlay ! 


Tune—' East Nook o' Fife: 

1 Oh, wha my baby clouts will buy ? 
Oh, wha will tent me when I cry 1 
Wha will kiss me where I lie 1 

The rantin' dog the daddie o't. 

2 Oh, wha will own he did the fau't ? 
Oh, wha will buy the groanin' maut ? 
Oh, wha will tell me how to ca't 1 

The rantin' dog the daddie o't. 

3 When I mount the creepic chair, 
AVha will sit beside me there ? 
Gie me Rob, I '11 seek nae mair — 

The rantin' dog the daddie o't. 

270 ' burns' poems. 

4 Wha will crack to me my lane 1 
Wha will mak me fidgin' fain 1 
Wha will kiss me o'er again '? 
The rantin' dog the daddie o't. 



Tune — ' John Anderson, my jo.' 

One night as I did wander, 

When corn begins to shoot, 
I sat me down to ponder 

Upon an add tree root : 
Auld Ayr ran by before me, 

And bicker'd to the seas ; 
A cushat crooded o'er me, 

That echoed through the braes. 


Tune — ' Baintie Davie.' 

There was a lad was born in Kyle, 
But whatna day o' whatna style, 
I doubt it 's hardly worth the while 
To be sae nice wi' Robin. 


Robin was a rovin' boy, 

Rantin', rovin', rantin', rovin' ; 

Robin was a rovin' boy, 
Rantin', rovin' Robin ! 


2 Our monarch's hindmost year but ane 
Was five-and-twentj days begun, 
'Twas then a blast o' Janwar' win' 

Blew hansel in on Robin. 

3 The gossip keekit in his loof, 

Quo' she, wha lives Mdll see the proof. 
This waly boy will be nae coof ; 
I think we '11 ca' him Robin. 

4 He '11 hae misfortunes great and sma'. 
But aye a heart aboon them a' ; 

He '11 be a credit till us a' — 
We '11 a' be proud o' Robin. 

5 But sure as three times three mak nine, 
I see by ilka score and line. 

This chap will dearly like our kin'. 
So leeze me on thee, Robin. 

6 Guid faith, quo' she, I doubt you '11 gar 
The bonnie lasses lie aspar ; 

But twenty fauts ye may hae waur — 
So blessin's on thee, Robin ! 

Tune — ' Mauchline Belles' 

1 On, leave noA^els, ye Mauchline belles, 

Ye 're safer at your spinning-wheel ; 
Such witching books are baited hooks 
For rakish rooks, like Rob Mossgiel. 

2 Your fine Tom Jones and Grandisons, 

They make your youthful fancies reel ; 

4-i I ^ 

burns' poems. 

Thej heat your brains, and fire jour veins, 
And then you 're prey for Rob Mossgiel. 

3 Beware a tongue that 's smoothly hung, 

A heart that -warmly seems to feel ; 
That feeling heart but acts a part — 
'Tis rakish art in Rob Mossgiel. 

4 The frank address, the soft caress, 

Are worse than poison'd darts of steel ; 
The frank address and politesse 
Are all finesse in Rob Mossgiel. 


In Mauchline there dwells six proper young belles, 

The pride o' the place and its neighbourhood a' ; 
Their carriage and dress, a stranger would guess, 

In Lon'ou or Paris they 'd gotten it a' : 
Miss Miller ^ is fine. Miss Markland 's divine. 

Miss Smith she has wit, and Miss Betty is braw ; 
There 's beauty and fortune to get wi' Miss Morton, 

But Armour 's the jewel for me o' them a'. 


Here 's a bottle and an honest friend ! 

What would ye wish for mair, man ? 
Wha kens, before his life may end, 

What his share may be of care, man 1 

' ' Miss Miller : ' married Dr Mackenzie, a friend of Burns ; Miss Markland, 
Mr Findlay, a ganger in Greenock ; Miss Betty (Miller) became Mrs Templeton; 
Miss Morton, Mrs Paterson ; Miss Smith married Mr Candlisli, and became 
the mother of the celebrated Dr Candlish. 


Then catch the raoments as they fly, 

And use them as ye ought, man ; 
Believe me, happiness is shy, 

And comes not aye when sought, man. 


1 As I was a-wandering ae morning in spring, 

I heard a young ploughman sae sweetly to sing ; 
And as he was singin' thir words he did say, 
' There 's nae life like the ploughman in the month o' 
sweet May. 

2 ' The laverock in the morning she 11 rise frae her nest, 
And mount to the air wi' the dew on her breast ; 
And wi' the merry plougliman she '11 whistle and sing, 
And at night she '11 return to her nest back again.' 

Tune — ' Yoti luilcl mossy Mountains.^ 

1 Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty and wide. 
That nurse in their bosom the youth o' the Clyde, 
Where the grouse lead their coveys through the 

heather to feed, 
And the shepherd tents his flock as he pipes on his reed ; 
Where the grouse lead their coveys through the 

heather to feed, 
And the shepherd tents his flock as he pipes on his 

2 Not Gowrie's rich valley, nor Forth's sunny shores, 
To me hae the charms o' yon Mild mossy moors ; 

VOL. II. s 


For there, by a laiielj and sequester'd stream, 
Resides a sweet lassie, my thought and my dream ; 
For there, by a lanely and sequester'd stream, 
Resides a sweet lassie, my thought and my dream. 

3 Amang thae wild mountains shall still be my path, 
Ilk stream foaming down its ain green, narrow strath ; 
For there, wi' my lassie, the day lang I rove, 

While o'er us unheeded flee the swift hours o' love ; 
For there, wi' my lassie, the day lang I rove, 
While o'er us unheeded flee the swift hours o' love. 

4 She is not the fairest, although she is fair ; 
0' nice education but sma' is her share ; 
Her parentage humble as humble can be ; 

But I lo'e the dear lassie because she lo'es me ; 
Her parentage humble as humble can be ; 
But I lo'e the dear lassie because she lo'es me. 

5 To beauty what man but maun yield him a prize, 
In her armour of glances, and blushes, and sighs ? 
And when wit and refinement hae polish'd her darts, 
They dazzle our e'en, as they flee to our hearts ; 

And when wit and refinement hae polish'd her darts, 
They dazzle our e'en, as they flee to our hearts. 

6 But kindness, sweet kindness, in the fond sparkling e'e, 
Has lustre outshining the diamond to me ; 

And the heart beating love, as I 'm clasp'd in her arms. 
Oh, these are my lassie's all-conquering charms ! 
And the heart beating love, as I'm clasp'd in her arms. 
Oh, these are my lassie's all-conquering charms I 



Tune — ' Jianpin' John.' 

1 Her daddie forbade, her minnie forbade ; 

Forbidden she wadna be ; 
She wadna trow 't the browst she brew'd 
Wad taste sae bitterlie. 


The laiig lad thej ca' Jumpin' John 

Beguiled the bonnie lassie ; 
The lang lad they ca' Jumpin' John 

Beguiled the bonnie lassie. 

2 A cow and a cauf, a yowe and a hauf, 

And thretty gude shillin's and three ; 
A vera gude tocher, a cottar-man's dochter. 
The lass wi' the bonnie black e'e. 


Tune—' The Dusty Miller! 

Hey, the dusty miller, 
And his dusty coat ; 
He will win a shilling. 
Or he spend a groat. 
Dusty was the coat, 

Dusty was the colour ; 
Dusty was the kiss 

That I iiot frae the miller. 


2 Hey, the dusty miller. 
And his dustv sack, 

^ rounded, as well as the fullowhji,^ on an old ditty. 


Leeze me on the calling 
Fills the dustj peck ; 
Fills the diistj peck, 

Brings the dustj siller; 
I wad gie mj coa^ie 
For the dustj miller. 


Tune — ' Maggy Lauder! 

I MARRIED with a scolding wife 

The fourteenth of NoYcmber ; 
She made me wearie of my life, 

Bj one unruly member. 
Long did I bear the heavy yoke, 

And many griefs attended ; 
But, to my comfort be it spoke. 

Now, now her life is ended. 

We lived full one-and-twenty years 

A man afld wife together ; 
At length from me her course she 's steer'd, 

And gone I know not whither; 
AVould I could guess, I do profess, 

I speak and do not flatter, 
Of all the women in the world, 

I never could come at her. 

1 Her body is bestowed well, 

A handsome grave does hide her ; 
But sure her soul is not in hell, 

The deil would ne'er abide her. 
I rather think she is aloft, 
And imitating thunder ; 

THE caedin' o't. 277 

For -why — metliiuks I hear her voice 
Tearing the clouds asunder. 


Tune — ' Dalkeith Maiden Bridge/ 

1 Oh, sad and heavy should I part, 

But for her sake sae far a-wa' ; 
Unknowing what my way may thwart, 

My native laud sae far awa'. 
Thou that of a' things Maker art, 

That form'd this Fair sae far awa', 
Gie body strength, and 1 11 ne'er start 

At this my way sae far awa'. 

2 How true is love to pure desert, 

So love to her sae far awa' : 
And nocht can heal my bosom's smart. 

While, oh ! she is sae far awa'. 
Nane other love, nane other dart, 

I feel but her's, sae far awa' : 
But fairer never touch'd a heart 

Than her's, the Fair sae far awa'. 


Tune — ' Salt fish and dumpUns.' 

1 I COFT a staue o' haslock woo'. 
To make a coat to Johnny o't : 
For Johnny is my only jo, 
I lo'e him best of ony yet. 


The cardin' o't, the spinnin' o't. 
The warpin' o't, the wiunin' o't ; 


When ilka ell cost me a groat, 
The tailor staw the liuin' o't. 

2 For though his locks be Ijart gray, 

And though his brow be held aboon ; 
Yet I hae seen him on a day. 
The pride of a' the parishen. 


Tune — ' The carlin o' the glen' 

1 Young Jamie, pride of a' the plain, 
Sae gallant and sae gay a swain ; 
Through a' our lasses he did rove. 
And reign'd resistless king of love : 
But now wi' sighs and starting tears. 
He strays amang the woods and briers ; 
Or in the glens and rocky caves 

He sad, complaining, dowie raves : 

2 ' I wha sae late did range and rove. 
And changed with every moon my love, 
I little thought the time was near, 
Repentance I should buy sae dear : 
The slighted maids my torment see, 
And laugh at a' the pangs I dree ; 
While she, my cruel, scornfu' fair, 
Forbids me e'er to see her mair ! ' 



1 There 's a youth in this city, 
It were a great pity 

' Partly old. 


That he frae our lasses should ^Yander a'^a' ; 

For he 's bonnie and braw, 

Weel-favour'd and a', 
And his hair has a natural buckle and a^ 

His coat is the hue 

Of his bonnet sae blue ; 
His fecket is white as the new-driven snaw ; 

His hose they are blae, 

And his shoon like the slae, 
And his clear siller buckles thej dazzle us a'. 

2 For beauty and fortune 

The laddie 's been courtin' ; 
Weel-featured, weel-tocher'd, weel-mounted, and braw ; 

But chiefly the siller — 

That gars him gang till her, 
The penny 's the jewel that beautifies a'. 

There 's Meg wi' the mailen, 

That fain M-ad a haen him ; 
And Susie, whose daddie was laird o' the ha' ; 

There 's laug-tocher'd Nancy 

Maist fetters his fancy — 
But the laddie's dear sel' he lo'es dearest of a'. 


Tune — ' Ratilin, roarin' Willie' 

Oh, rattlin', roarin' Willie, 

Oh, he held to the fair, 
And for to sell his fiddle, 

And buy some other ware ; 

' ' Roarin' Willie : ' William Dunbar, W.S., Edinburgh, Captain of the 
Crochallan corps. 

280 burns' poems. 

But parting wi* his fiddle, 
Tlie saiit tear blin't his e'e ; 

And rattlin', roarin' Willie, 
Ye 're welcome hame to me ! 

2 Willie, come sell jour fiddle, 

Oh, sell your fiddle sae fine ; 
Willie, come sell your fiddle. 

And buy a pint o' wine ! 
If I should sell my fiddle, 

The warl' wad think I was mad ; 
For mony a rautin' day 

My fiddle and I hae had. 

3 As I cam by Crochallan, 

I cannily keekit ben — 
Rattlin', roarin' Willie 

Was sitting at yon board en' ; 
Sitting at yon board en'. 

And amang guid companie, 
Rattlin', roarin' Willie, 

Ye 're welcome hame to me ! 


Tune — ' The job of journey-worh.' 

1 Although my back be at the wa', 

And though he be the fauter ; 
Although my back be at the wa', 
Yet here 's his health in water ! 

2 Oh ! wae gae by his wanton sides, 

Sae brawlie he could flatter ; 
Till for his sake I 'm slighted sair, 
And dree the kintra clatter. 


3 But though my back be at the wa', 
AdcI though he be the fauter : 
But though my back be at the wa', 
Yet, here 's his health in water ! 


Tune — ' Kellyhum Braes' 

1 There lived a carle on Kelly burn braes, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
And he had a wife was the plague o' his days ; 
(And the thyme it is wither' d, and rue is in prime.) 

2 Ae day as the carle gaed up the lang glen, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
He met wi' the devil ; says, ' How do you fen' % ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

3 ' I 've got a bad wife, sir ; that 's a' my complaint ; 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
For, saving your presence, to her ye 're a saint ; ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

4 ' It 's neither your stot nor your staig I shall crave, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wd' thyme,) 
But gie mc your wife, man, for her I must have ; ' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

5 ' Oh, welcome, most kindly,' the blithe carle said, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
' But if ye can match her, ye 're waur nor ye 're ca'd ;' 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

' An old song much altered. 


6 The devil has got tlie aulcl wife on his back, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
And, like a poor pedlar, he 's carried his pack ; 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

7 lie 's carried her hame to his ain hallan-door : 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
Syne bade her gae in, for a b — h and a w — e ; 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

8 Then straight he makes fifty, the pick o' his band, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
Turn out on her guard in the clap of a hand ; 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

9 The carlin gaed through them like ony wud bear, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
Whae'er she gat hands on came near her na mair ; 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

10 A reekit wee devil looks over the wa' ; 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
' Oh, help, master, help, or she'll ruin us a' ;' 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

11 The devil he swore by the edge o' his knife, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
He pitied the man that was tied to a wife ; 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

12 The devil he swore by the kirk and the bell, 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
He was not in wedlock, thank heaven, but in hell ; 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 


13 Then Satan has travell'd again wi' his pack ; 

(Hej, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
And to her auld husband he 's carried her back ; 
(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 

14 ' I hae been a devil the feck o' mv life ; 

(Hey, and the rue grows bonnie wi' thyme,) 
But ne'er was in hell, till I met wi' a wife ; ' 

(And the thyme it is wither'd, and rue is in prime.) 


Tune — ' Ye Jacobites by name.' 

1 Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear ; 

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear ; 
Ye Jacobites by name, 
Your fauts I will proclaim, 
Your doctrines I maun blame — 
You shall hear. 

2 What is right and what is wrang, by the law, by tlie law ? 

What is right and what is wrang by the law ■? 
What is right and what is wrang % 
A short sword and a lang, 
A weak arm, and a Strang 
For to draw. 

3 Wliat makes heroic strife, famed afar, famed afar ? 

What makes heroic strife famed afar 1 
What makes heroic strife ? 
To whet th' assassin's knife. 
Or hunt a parent's life 
Wi' bluidie war. 

' Partly ol.l. 

284 burns' poems. 

4 Then let your schemes alone, in the state, in the state ; 
Then let your schemes alone in the state ; 
Then let your schemes alone, 
Adore the rising sun, 
And leave a man undone 
To his fate. 


Tune — ' The Gardener wi' his paidle.' 

1 When rosy May comes in wi' flowers, 
To deck her gay green-spreading bowers 
Then busy, busy are his hours — 

The gardener wi' his paidle. 

2 The crystal M-aters gently fa'; 
The merry birds are lovers a'; 

The scented breezes round him blaw — 
The gardener wi' his paidle. 

3 When purple morning starts the hare 
To steal upon her early fare, 

Then through the dews he maun repair— 
The gardener wi' his paidle. 

4 When day, expiring in the west, 
The curtain draws of Nature's rest, 
lie flies to her arms he lo'es best — 

The gardener wi' his paidle. 



Tune—' The Killogie: 

Bannocks o' bear meal, 

Bannocks o' barlej ; 
Here 's to the Higlilandman's 

Bannocks o' barlej. 
Wha in a brulzie 

Will first cry a parley ? 
Never tlie lads wi' 

The bannocks o' barley. 

Bannocks o' bear meal, 

Bannocks o' barley ; 
Here ^s to the lads \vi' 

The bannocks o' barley. 
Wha in his wae-davs 

Were loyal to Charlie % 
Wha but the lads wi' 

The bannocks o' barley. 


Tune — ' The Highland BaloiC 

1 Hee balou ! my sweet wee Donald, 
Picture o' the great Clanronald ; 
Brawlie kens our wanton chief 
Wha got my young Highland thief. 

2 Lccze mo on thy bonnic craigic, 

An thou live, thou 'It steal a naigie ; 
Travel the country through and through, 
And bring hamc a Carlisle cow. 

286 burns' poems. 

3 Through the Lawlands, o'er the border, 
Weel, my baby, may thou furder ; 
Ilerry the louns o' the laigh couutrie, 
Syne to the Highlands hame to me. 


1 As I came in by our gate end, 

As day was waxin' weary ; 
Oh, wha cam tripping down the street 
But bonnie Peg, my dearie ! 

2 Her air sae sweet, and shape complete, 

Wi' nae proportion wanting, 
The Queen o' Love did never move 
Wi' motion mair enchanting. 

3 Wi' linked hands we took the sands 

A-down yon winding river ; 
And, oh ! that hour and broomy bower, 
Can I forget it ever ! 


1 Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet ; 

Peel a willow-wand to be him boots and jacket ; 

The rose upon the brier will be him trouse and doublet, 

The rose upon the brier will be him trouse and doublet. 

2 Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet ; 
Twice a lily-flower will be him sark and cravat ; 
Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet, 
Feathers of a flee wad feather up his bonnet. 

Montgomery's peggt. 28' 

Tune — ' Ye gallants hr'ujlit! 

Ye gallants bright, I rede je right, 

Beware o' bonnie Ann ; 
Iler comely face, sae fu' o' grace, 

Your heart she will trepan. 
Her e'en sae bright, like stars bj night, 

Her skin is like the swan ; 
Sae jimplj laced her gentj waist, 

That sweetly ye might span. 

Youth, grace, and love, attendant move, 

And pleasure leads the van ; 
In a' their charms and conquering arms, 

They wait on bonnie Ann. 
The captive bands may chain the hands, 

But love enslaves the man ; 
Ye gallants braw, I rede ye a', 

Beware o' bonnie Ann ! 


Tune — 'Gala 'Water! 

1 Although my bed were in yon muir, 

Amang the heather in my plaidie, 
Yet happy, happy would I be, 

Had I my dear Montgomery's Peggy. 

2 When o'er the hill beat surly storms. 

And winter nights were dark and rainy; 
I 'd seek some dell, and in my arms 
1 'd shelter dear Montgomery's Peggy. 

' ' Bonnie Ann : ' daughter of Allan Masterton, the tliird in the revel, when 
' Willie hrcw'd a peck o' luaut,' uieutioned above. He was a steadiiist iiicud 
of the poet. 


3 AVere I a baron proud and high, 

And horse and servants waiting ready, 
Then a' 'twad gie o' joy to me, 

The sharin't with Montgomery's Peggy. 



1 As on the banks o' wandering Nith, 

Ae smiling simmer-morn I stray'd, 
And traced its bonnie howes and haughs, 

Where Unties sang and lambkins play'd, 
I sat me down upon a craig, 

And drank my fill o' fancy's dream, 
When, from the eddying deep below, 

Uprose the Genius of the stream, 

'2 Dark, like the frowning rock, his brow, 

x\nd troubled, like his wintry wave, 
And deep, as sughs the boding wind 

Amang his caves, the sigh he gave — 
* And came ye here, my son,' he cried, 

' To wander in ray birken shade '? 
To muse some favourite Scottish theme, 

Or sing some favourite Scottish maid ? 

3 ' There was a time — it 's nae lang syne — 

Ye might hae seen me in my pride, 
When a' my banks sae bravely saw 

Their woody pictures in my tide ; 
When hanging beech and spreading elm 

Shaded my stream sae clear and cool ; 
And stately oaks their twisted arms 

Threw broad and dark across the pool ; 


4 ' When, glinting tlirougli the trees, appear'd 

The wee white cot aboon the mill, 
And peacefu' rose its ingle reek, 

That slowly curled up the hill. 
But now the cot is bare and cauld. 

Its branchy shelter 's lost and gane. 
And scarce a stinted birk is left 

To shiver in the blast its lane.' 

5 ' Alas ! ' said I, ' what ruefu' chance 

Has twin'd ye o' your stately trees 1 
Has laid your rocky bosom bare '? 

Has stripp'd the deeding o' your braes 1 
Was it the bitter eastern blast, 

That scatters blight in early spring 1 
Or was 't the wil'-fire scorch'd their boughs, 

Or canker-worm, wi' secret sting "?' 

6 ' Nae eastlin' blast,' the Sprite replied ; 

' It blew na here sae fierce and fell. 
And on my dry and halesome banks 

Nae canker-worms get leave to dwell : 
Man ! cruel man ! ' the Genius sisjh'd — 

As through the cliffs he sank him down — 
' The worm that gnaw'd my bonnie trees. 

That reptile wears a ducal crov,'n !'^ 

As Tam the Chapman, on a day, 
Wi' Death forgathcr'd by the way, 

' ' Ducal crown : ' alluding to the Duke of Queensberry cutting down the 
woods of Drunilanrig to enrich the Duchess of Yarmouth, hia presumed 
(untndj) daughter. — ^ ' Tam tiie Chapman : ' one Kenn'-ily of Ayr, who had 
recovered from an illness, and met the poet.— Communicated by Williain 


290 burns' poems. 

Weel pleased, he greets a wight sae famous, 
And Death was nae less pleased wi' Thomas, 
Wha cheerfully lays down the pack, 
And there blaws up a hearty crack : 
His social, friendly, honest heart 
Sae tickled Death, they could na part : 
Sae after viewing knives and garters, 
Death takes him hame to gi'e him quarters. 


1 Before I saw Clarinda's face. 

My heart was blithe and gay, 

Free as the wind, or feather'd race 

That hop from spray to spray. 

2 But now dejected I appear, 

Clarinda proves unkind ; 
I, sighing, drop the silent tear. 
But no reUef can find. 

3 In plaintive notes my tale rehearses 

When I the fair have found ; 
On every tree appear my verses 
That to her praise resound. 

4 But she, ungrateful, shuns ray sight, 

My faithful love disdains. 
My vows and tears her scorn excite, 
Another happy reigns. 

5 Ah, though my looks betray 

I envy your success. 
Yet love to friendship shall give way 
I cannot wish it less. 



Tune — 'Gala Water.' 


Be AW, braw lads of Gala Water, 
braw lads of Gala Water : 

I '11 kilt my coats aboon my knee, 

And follow my love through the water. 

1 Sae fair her hair, sae brent her brow, 

Sae bonuie blue her e'en, my dearie ; 
Sae white her teeth, sae sweet her mou', 
The mair I kiss she 's aje my dearie. 

2 O'er 3"on bank and o'er yon brae, 

O'er yon moss amang the heather : 
I '11 kilt my coats aboon my knee, 

And follow my love through the water. 

3 Down amang the broom, the broom. 
Down amang the broom, my dearie, 
The lassie lost a silken snood, 

That cost her mony a blirt and blearie. 


1 Come rede me, dame, come tell me, dame, 

And nane can tell mair truly. 
What colour maun the man be of. 
To love a woman duly 1 

2 The carlin clew baith up and down. 

And leugh and auswer'd ready, 
' I learn'd a sang in Annandale, 
A dark man for my lady. 


3 ' But for a country quean like thee, 

Young lass, I tell thee fairly. 
That wi' the white I Ve made a shift, 
And brown will do fu' rarely. 

4 ' There 's meikle love in raven locks. 

The flaxen ne'er grows youden, 
There 's kiss and hause me in the brown, 
And glory in the gowden.' 


1 Heard ye o' the tree o' France, 

I watna what's the name o't ; 
Around it a' the patriots dance, 

Weel Europe kens the fame o't. 
It stands where ance the Bastile stood, 

A prison built by kings, man. 
When Superstition's hellish brood 

Kept France in leading strings, man. 

2 Upo' this tree there grows sic fruit. 

Its virtues a' can tell, man ; 
It raises man aboon the brute. 

It maks him ken himsel', man. 
Gif ance the peasant taste a bit, 

lie 's greater tlian a lord, man, 
An' wi' the beggar shares a mite 

0' a' he can affbrd, man. 

3 This fruit is worth a' Afric's wealth. 

To comfort us 'twas sent, man : 
To gie the sweetest blush o' health. 
An' mak us a' content, man. 


It clears the e'en, it cheers the heart, 
Maks high and low giiid friends, man ; 

And he wha acts the traitor's part 
It to perdition sends, man, 

4 Mj blessings aye attend the chiel 

Wha pitied Gallia's slaves, man, 
xA.nd staw a branch, spite o' the deil, 

Frae jont the western waves, man. 
Fair Virtue water'd it wi' care. 

And now she sees wi' pride, man. 
How weel it buds and blossoms there, 

Its branches spreading wide, man. 

5 But vicious folks aye hate to see 

The works o' Virtue thrive, man, 
The courtly vermin 's bann'd the tree. 

And grat to see it thrive, man ; 
Kiug Louis thought to cut it down. 

When it was unco sma', man ; 
For this the watchmen crack'd his crown, 

Cut afF his head and a', man. 

6 A wicked crew syne, on a time. 

Did tak a solemn aith, man. 
It ne'er should flourish to its prime, 

I wat they pledged their faith, man. 
Awa' they gaed wi' mock parade, 

Like beagles hunting game, man. 
But soon grew weary o' the trade. 

And wish'd they'd been at hame, man. 

7 For Freedom, standing by the tree, 

Iler sons did loudly ca', man ; 
She sang a sang o' liberty, 

Wliich pleased them ane and a', man. 

294 burns' poems. 

By her inspired, the new-born race 

Soon drew the avenging steel, man ; 
The hirelings ran — her foes gied chase. 
And bang'd the despot weel, man. 

8 Let Britain boast her hardy oak, 

Her poplar and her pine, man, 
Aiild Britain ance could crack her joke, 

And o'er her neighbours shine, man. 
But seek the forest round and round, 

And soon 'twill be agreed, man, 
That sic a tree cannot be found, 

'Twixt London and the Tweed, man. 

9 Without this tree, alake, this life 

Is but a vale o' woe, man ; 
A scene o' sorrow mix'd wi' strife, 

Nae real joys we know, man. 
We labour soon, we labour late. 

To feed the titled knave, man ; 
And a' the comfort we 're to get 

Is that ayont the grave, man. 

1 Wi' plenty o' sic trees, I trow, 

The warld would live in peace, man ; 
The sword would help to mak a plough. 

The din o' war would cease, man. 
Like brethren in a common cause. 

We 'd on each other smile, man ; 
And equal rights and equal laws 

Wad gladden every isle, man, 

11 Wae worth the loon wha wadna eat 

Sic halesome, dainty cheer, man ; 
I'd gie my shoon frae afF my feet. 
To taste sic fruit, I swear, man. 


Syne let us pray, auld England may 
Sure plant this far-famed tree, man ; 

And blithe we '11 sing, and hail the day 
That gave us liberty, man. 



1 Here around the ingle bleezing, 

Wha sae happy and sae free ; 
Though the northern wind blaws freezing, 
Frien'ship warms baith you and me. 


Happy we are a' thegither, 
Happy we '11 be ane an' a', 

Time shall see us a' the blither 
Ere we rise to gang awa'. 

2 See the miser o'er his treasure 

Gloating wi' a greedy e'e ! 
Can he feel the glow o' pleasure 
That around us here we see 1 

3 Can the peer, in silk and ermine, 

Ca' his conscience half his OM-n : 
His claes are spun an' edged wi' vermin, 
Though he stan' afore a throne ! 


4 Thus, then, let us a' be tassing 

Aif our stoups o' generous flame ; 

An' while roun' the board 'tis passing, 

Raise a sang in fricn'ship's name. 

296 BUPtNS" POEilS. 

Friea'ship mats us a' mair happy, 
Frien'ship gies us a' delight ; 
Frieu'ship consecrates the drappie, 
Frien'ship brings us here to-night. 



1 How shall I sing Drumlanrig's Grace — 
Discarded remnant of a race 

Once great in martial story? 
His forbears' virtues all contrasted — 
The very name of Douglas blasted — 

His that inverted glory! 

2 Hate, envy, oft the Douglas bore ; 
But he has supperadded more, 

And sunk them in contempt ; 
Follies and crimes have stain'd the name 
But, Queensberry, thine the virgin claim. 

From aught that 's good exempt. 


1 Humid seal of soft affections, 

Tend'rest pledge of future bliss, 
Dearest tie of young connexions, 
Love 's first snow-drop, virgin kiss. 

2 Speaking silence, dumb confession, 

Passion's birth, and infants' play, 
Dove-like fondness, chaste concession. 
Glowing dawn of brighter day. 

' ' Stanzas : ' an impromptu on the tree-destroying Dake, made by the poet 
when once reproached for choosing nothing but low subjects. 


3 Sorrowing joy, adieu's last action. 

AVhen liug'ring lips no more must join ; 
What words can ever speak affection 
So thrilling and sincere as thine ! 


1 I dreaji'd I lay where flowers were springing, 

Gaily in the sunny beam ; 
List'ninij to the wild birds sinojiuir, 

By a falling crystal stream : 
Straight the sky grew black and daring : 

Through the woods the whirlwinds rave ; 
Trees with a^ed arms were warring 

O'er the swellins:, drumlie wave. 

2 Such was my life's deceitful morning, 

Such the pleasures I enjoy'd ; 
But lang ere noon, loud tempests storming 

A' my flow'ry bliss destroy "d. 
Though fickle fortune has deceived me, 

(She promised fair, and perform'd but ill ;) 
Of mony a joy and hope bereaved me, 

I bear a heart shall support me still. 

• Lass, when your mither is frae hame. 

May I but be sae bauld 
As come to your bower-window. 

And creep in frae the cauld 1 
As come to your bower-window. 

And when it 's cauld an' wat, 
AVarm me in thy ft\ir bosom, — 

Sweet lass, may I do that V 

298 burns' poems. 

2 ' Young man, gin ye should be sae kind, 

When our guid^Yife 's frae hame, 
As come to mj bower-window, 

Whare I am laid my lane, 
To warm thee in my bosom, — 

Tak tent, I '11 tell thee what, 
The way to me lies through the kirk : — 

Young man, do ye hear that V 


Tune — ' The Weave?' and his Shuttle, 0!' 

1 My father was a farmer 

Upon the Carrick border, ! 
And carefully he bred me 

In decen cy and order, ! 
He bade me act a manly part. 

Though I had ne'er a farthing, 0! 
For without an honest, manly heart. 

No man was worth regarding, ! 

2 Then out iuto the world 

My course I did determine, ! 
Though to be rich was not my wish, 

Yet to be great was charming, ! 
My talents they were not the worst, 

Nor yet my education, ! 
Resolved was I, at least to try 

To mend my situation, ! 

3 In many a M-ay, and vain essay, 

I courted fortune's favour, ! 
Some cause unseen still stept between, 
To frustrate each endeavour, ! 


Sometimes by foes I was o'erpower'd ; 

Sometimes by friends forsaken, ! 
And when my hope was at the top 

I still was worst mistaken, ! 

4 Then sore harass'd, and tired at last, 

With fortune's vain delusion, ! 
I dropt my schemes, like idle dreams. 

And came to this conclusion, ! 
The past was bad, and the future hid ; 

Its good or ill untried, ! 
But the present hour was in my power, 

And so I would enjoy it, ! 

5 No help, nor hope, nor view had I, 

Nor person to befriend me, ! 
So I must toil, and sweat, and broil, 

And labour to sustain me, ! 
To plough and sow, to reap and mow, 

My father bred me early, ! 
For one, he said, to labour bred, 

Was a match for fortune fairly, ! 

6 Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, 

Through life I 'm doom'd to wander, ! 
Till down my weary bones I lay 

In everlasting slumber, ! 
No view nor care, but shun whate'cr 

Might breed me pain or sorrow, ! 
I live to-day as well 's I may, 

Regardless of to-morrow, ! 

7 But cheerful still, I am as well 

As a monarch in a palace, ! 
Though fortune's frown still hunts me down. 
With all her wanton malice, ! 

300 burns' poems. 

I make indeed mj daily bread, 
But ne'er can make it farther, ! 

But as daily bread is all I need, 
I do not much regard her, ! 

8 When sometimes by my labour 

I earn a little money, ! 
Some unforeseen misfortune 

Comes generally upon me, ! 
Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, 

Or my good-natured folly, ! 
But come what will, I 've sworn it still, 

I '11 ne'er be itielancholy, ! 

9 All you who follow wealth and power 

With unremitting ardour, ! 
The more in this you look for bliss. 

You leave your view the farther, ! 
Had you the wealth Potosi boasts, 

Or nations to adore you, ! 
A cheerful, honest-hearted clown 

I will prefer before you, ! 


1 Now, Kennedy, if foot or horse 

E'er bring you in by Mauchline Corse, 
Lord, man, there 's lasses there wad force 

A hermit's fancy ; 
And down the gate, in faith, they're worse. 

And mair unchancy. 

2 But, as I 'm say in', please step to Dow's, 
And taste sic gear as Johnnie brews. 

OH, kenmure's on and aw a'. 301 

Till some bit callant brinsf me news 

That you are there ; 

And if we dinna hand a bouse 

I 'se ne'er drink mair. 

3 It 's no I like to sit and swallow, 
Then like a swine to puke and wallow ; 
But gie me just a true good fallow, 

"Wi' right ingine, 
And spunkie ance to make us mellow, 

And then we '11 shine. 

4 Now, if ye 're ane o' warld's folk, 
Wha rate the wearer by the cloak, 
And sklent on poverty their joke, 

Wi' bitter sneer, 
Wi' you no friendship will I troke, 

Nor cheap nor dear. 

5 But if, as I 'm informed weel, 
Ye hate, as ill 's the verra deil, 
The flinty heart that canna feel, 

Come, sir, here 's tae you ! 
Hae, there 's my haun', I wiss you weel. 

And glide be wi' you ! 


Tune — ' Oh, Kenmiire's on and awal Willie V 

1 Oh, Kenmure 's on and awa', AVillic ! 
Oh, Kenmure 's on and awa ! 
And Kenmure 's lord's the bravest lord 
That ever Galloway saw. 

302 burns' poems. 

2 Success to Kenmure's band, Willie ! 
Success to Keumure's band ; 
There 's no a heart that fears a whig: 
That rides bj Keumure's hand. 


3 Here Kenmure's health in wine, Willie ! 

Here Kenmure's health in wine ; 
There ne'er was a coward o' Kenmure's blude. 
Nor yet o' Gordon's line. 

4 Oh, Kenmure's lads are men, Willie ! 

Oh, Kenmure's lads are men ; 
Their hearts and swords are metal true — 
And that their faes shall ken. 

5 They 11 live or die wi' fame, Willie ! 

They '11 live or die wi' fame ; 
But soon, wi' sounding victorie, 
May Kenmure's lord come hame ! 

6 Here 's him that 's far awa', Willie ! 

Here 's him that 's far awa' ! 
And here's the flower that I lo'e best — 
The rose that 's like the snaw ! 


Tune — ' / am a man unmarried.' 

1 Oh, once I loved a bonnie lass, 
Aye, and I love her still ; 
And whilst that virtue warms my breast 
I '11 love my handsome Nell. 

' ' Handsome Nell : ' Bums' first composition. 


2 As bounie lasses I lia'e seen, 

And mony full as braw, 
But for a modest gracefu' mien, 
The like I never saw. 

3 A bonnie lass, I will confess, 

Is pleasant to the e'e, 
But without some better qualities 
She 's no a lass for me. 

4 But Nelly's looks are blithe and sweet, 

And, what is best of a'. 
Her reputation is complete, 
And fair without a flaw. 

5 She dresses aye sae clean and neat, 

Both decent and genteel ; 
And then there 's something in her gait 
Gars ony dress look weel. 

6 A gaudy dress and gentle air 

May shghtly touch the heart. 
But it 's innocence and modesty 
That polishes the dart. 

7 'Tis this in Nelly pleases me, 

'Tis this enchants my soul ; 
For absolutely in my breast 
She reigns without control. 


Oh, ragiug fortune's withering blast 
Has laid my leaf full low, ! 

Oh, raging fortune's withering blast 
Has laid my leaf full low, ! 

304 burns' poems. 

S My stem was fair, mj bud was green, 
Mj blossom sweet did blow, ! 
The dew fell fresh, the sun rose mild, 
And made my branches grow, 1 

3 But luckless fortune's northern storms 
Laid a' mj blossoms low, ! 
But luckless fortune's northern storms 
Laid a' my blossoms low, ! 


Tune — 'Johnny M'GilU 

1 Oh, wilt thou go wi' me, 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar ? 
Oh, wilt thou go wi' me. 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar ? 
Wilt thou ride on a horse, 

Or be drawn in a car, 
Or walk by my side, 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar ? 

2 I care na thy daddie. 

His lands and his money, 
I care na thy kin, 

Sae high and sae lordly ; 
But say thou wilt hae me 

For better for waur — 
And come in thy coatie, 

Sweet Tibbie Dunbar! 


1 Oh, why the deuce should I repine, 
And be an ill foreboder 1 
I 'm twenty-three, and five feet nine — 
1 11 go, and be a sodger. 

TO THE OWL. 305 

2 I gat some gear wi' meikle care, 
I held it weel tliegitber ; 
But now it 's gane, and something mair — 
I '11 go and be a sodger. 


1 Sad bird of night ! M-hat sorrows call thee forth. 

To vent thy plaints thus in the midnight hour 1 
Is it some blast that gathers in the North, 
Threat'niug to nip the verdure of thy bower ? 

2 Is it, sad owl ! that Autumn strips the shade, 

And leaves thee here, unshelter'd and forlorn ? 
Or fear that Winter will thy nest invade ? 
Or friendless melancholy bids thee mourn ? 

3 Shut out, lone bii'd ! from all the feather'd train, 

To tell thy sorrows to th' unheeding gloom ; 
No friend to pity when thou dost complain, 
Grief all thy thought, and solitude thy home. 

4 Sing on, sad mourner ! I will bless thy strain, 

And, pleased, in sorrow listen to thy song : 
Sing on, sad mourner ! to the night complain, 
While the lone echo wafts thy notes along. 

5 Is beauty less, when down the glowing cheek 

Sad, piteous tears in native sorrows fall ? 
Less kind the heart when anguish bids it break ? 
Less happy he who lists to pity's call 1 

G x\h no, sad owl ! nor is thy voice less sweet. 
That sadness tunes it, and that grief is there ; 
That spring's gay notes, unskillVl, thou cau'st rc[)cat ; 
That sorrow bids thee to the gloom repair. 

VOL. II. u 

306 burns' poems. 

7 Nor that the treble songsters of the claj 

Are quite estranged, sad bird of night ! from thee ; 
Nor that the thrush deserts the evening spraj, 
When darkness calls thee from thj reverie. 

8 From some old tower, thj melancholy dome, 

While the gray walls, and desert solitudes, 
Return each note, responsive to the gloom 
Of ivied coverts and surrounding woods ; 

9 There hooting, I will list more pleased to thee 

Thau ever lover to the nightingale ; 
Or drooping wretch, oppress'd with misery. 
Lending his ear to some condoling tale. 

Aj_, xai^ ^ivi ^J^^ kjv/i^w v^v^ii vi^iiu^ 


1 Sweetest May, let love inspire thee ; 
Take a heart which he desires thee ; 
As thy constant slave regard it ; 
For its faith and truth reward it. 

2 Proof o' shot to birth or money, 
Not the wealthy, but the bonnie ; 
Not high-born, but noble minded, 
In love's silken bands can bind it ! 



1 Sweet naivete of feature 

Simple, wild, enchanting elf, 
Not to thee, but thanks to Nature, 
Thou art acting but thyself. 


2 Wert thou awkward, stiff, affected, 
Spurning nature, torturing art, 
Loves and graces all rejected, 
Then indeed thou 'dst act a part. 



The black-headed eagle 

As keen as a beagle, 
He hunted o'er height and o'er howe ; 

But fell in a trap, 

On the braes o' Gemappe ; 
E'en let him come out as he dow. 



1 The lamp of day, with ill-presaging glare, 

Dim, cloudy, sank beneath the western wave ; 
Th' inconstant blast howl'd through the darkening air, 
And hollow whistled in the rocky cave. 

2 Lone as I wander'd by each clifT and dell. 

Once the loved haunts of Scotia's royal train ; 
Or mused where limpid streams, once hallow'd, nvcII, 
Or mouldering ruins mark the sacred ftinc. 

3 Th' increasing blast roar'd round the beetling rocks, 

The clouds, swift-wing'd, flew o'er the starry sky, 
The groaning trees untimely shed their locks. 
And shootins: meteors cau'dit the startHnc; eve. 

308 burns' poems. 

4 The paly moon rose in the livid east, 

And 'mong the cliffs disclosed a stately form, 
In weeds of woe that frantic beat her breast, 
And mix'd her wailiugs with the raving storm. 

5 Wild to my heart the filial pulses glow, 

'Twas Caledonia's trophied shield I view'd : 
Her form majestic droop'd in pensive woe, 
The lightning of her eye in tears imbued. 

G Reversed that spear, redoubtable in war ; 

Reclined that banner, erst in fields unfurl'd. 
That like a deathful meteor gleam'd afar, 

And braved the mighty monarchs of the world. 

7 ' My patriot son fills an untimely grave ! ' 

With accents wild and lifted arms she cried ; 
' Low lies the hand that oft was stretch'd to save, 
Low lies the heart that swell'd with honest pride ! 

8 ' A weeping country joins a widow's tear, 

The helpless poor mix with the orphan's cry ; 
The drooping Arts surround their patron's bier, 
And grateful Science heaves the heartfelt sigh ! 

.9 ' I saw my sons resume their ancient fire ; 

I saw fair Freedom's blossoms richly blow ; 
But, ah I how hope is born but to expire ! 
Relentless fate has laid this guardian low. 

10 ' My patriot falls, but shall he lie unsung. 

While empty greatness saves a worthless name ? 
No ; every Muse shall join her tuneful tongue. 
And future ages hear his growing fame. 


11 ' And I will join a mother's tender cares, 

Through future times to make his virtues last, 
That distant years may boast of other Blairs ! ' 
She said, and vanish'd with the sweeping blast. 


Thou bed, in which I first began 

To be that various creature — Man ! 

And when again the Fates decree 

The place where I must cease to be ; 

When sickness comes, to whom I fly 

To soothe my pain, or close mine eye ; 

When cares surround me where I weep. 

Or lose them all in balmy sleep ; 

When sore with labour, whom I court, 

And to thy downy breast resort ; lo 

Where too, ecstatic joys I find, 

When deigns my Delia to be kind. 

And full of love, in all her charms, 

Thou giv'st the fair one to my arms. 

The centre thou, where grief and pain, 

Disease and rest, alternate reign. 

Oh, since within tliy little space. 

So many various scenes take place ; 

Lessons as useful shalt thou teach, 

As sages dictate — churchmen preach, 20 

And man, convinced by thee alone, 

This great important truth shall own : — 

That thin partitions do divide 

The bounds where good and ill reside ; 

That nought is perfect here below ; 

But bliss still bordering upon ivoe. 

310 burns' poems. 



Thou flattering mark of friendship kind. 
Still may thj pages call to mind 

The dear, the beauteous donor : 
Though sweetly female every part, 
Yet such a head, and more the heart, 

Does both the sexes honour. 
She show'd her taste refined and just 

When she selected thee, 
Yet deviating, own I must, 
For so approving me ; 

But kind still, I mind still, 

The giver in the gift, 
I '11 bless her, and wiss her 
A friend above the Lift.^ 


Tune — ' / had a horse, I had nae mair! 

When first I came to Stewart Kyle, 

My mind it was nae steady ; 
Where'er I gaed, where'er I rade, 

A mistress still I had aye : 
But when I came roun' by Mauchline town, 

Not dreadin' any body. 
My heart was caught before I thought. 

And by a Mauchline lady. 

' Burns sent also a copy of these lines to his friend iikcn. 



When deceased to the devil vi'ent down, 

'Twas nothing would serve him but Satan's own crown ; 
' Thy fool's head/ quoth Satan, ' that crown shall wear 

never ; 
I grant thou 'rt as wicked, but not quite so clever.' 



Tune — ' Catherine Ogie' 

1 Ye flowerj banks o' bounie Doon, 

How can ye bloom sae fair ! 
How can ye chant, ye little birds, 
And I sae fu' o' care ! 

2 Thou '11 break my heart, thou bonnie bird, 

That sings upon the bough ; 
Thou minds me o' the happy days 
When my fause luve was true. 

3 Thou '11 break my heart, thou bonnie bird, 

That sings beside thy mate ; 
For sae I sat, and sae I sang, 
And wist na o' my fate. 

4 Aft hae I roved by bonnie Doon, 

To sec the woodbine twine, 
And ilka bird sang o' its luve, 
And sae did I o' mine. 


5 Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose, 
Frae afF its thorny tree, 
And mj faiise luver staw the rose, 
But left the thorn wi' me. 



Ye hae lien a' wrang, lassie, 

Ye 've lien a' \Yrang ; 
Ye 've lien in an unco bed. 

And wi' a fremit man. 

1 Your rosy cheeks are turn'd sae wan. 

Ye 're greener than the grass, lassie ; 
Your coatie 's shorter bj a span, 
Yet ne'er an inch the less, lassie. 

2 lassie, ye ha'e play'd the fool. 

And ye will feel the scorn, lassie ; 
For aye the brose ye sup at e'en. 
Ye bock them e'er the morn, lassie. 

3 Oh, ance ye danced upon the knowes. 

And through the wood ye sang, lassie, 
But in the berrying o' a bee byke, 
I fear ye 've got a stang, lassie. 
Ye hae lien a' wrang, lassie, 

Ye 've lien a' wrang, 
Ye've lien in an unco bed, 
And wi' a fremit man. 




Ye holy walls, that, still sublime, 

Resist the crumbling touch of time, 

How strongly still your form displays 

The piety of ancient days ! 

As through your ruins, hoar and gray — 

Ruins yet beauteous in decay — 

The silvery moonbeams trembling fly : 

The forms of ages long gone by 

Crowd thick on fancy's wand'ring eye. 

And wake the soul to musings high. lo 

E'en now, as lost in thought profound, 

I view the solemn scene around. 

And, pensive, gaze with wistful eyes. 

The past returns, the present flies ; 

Again the dome, in pristine pride. 

Lifts high its roof, and arches wide, 

That, knit with curious tracery. 

Each Gothic ornament display ; 

The high arch'd windows, painted fair. 

Show many a saint and martyr there. 20 

As on their slender forms I 'd gaze, 

Methinks they brighten to a blaze ! 

With noiseless step and taper briglit, 

What are yon forms that meet my sight ? 

Slowly they move, while every eye 

Is heavenward raised in ecstasy. 

'Tis the fair, spotless, vestal train, 

Tliat seek in prayer the midnight fane. 

And, hark ! what more than mortal sound 

314 burns' poems. 

Of music breathes the pile around ? so 

'Tis the soft chanted choral song, 

Whose tones the echoing aisles prolong ; 

Till, thence return'd, thej softly stray 

O'er Cluden's wave, with fond delay ; 

Now on the rising gale swell high, 

And now in fainting murmurs die ; 

The boatmen on Nith's gentle stream, 

That glistens in the pale moonbeam. 

Suspend their dashing oars to hear 

The holy anthem, loud and clear ; 40 

Each worldly thought awhile forbear, 

And mutter forth a half-form'd prayer. 

But, as I gaze, the vision fails, 

Like frost-work touch'd by southern gales ; 

The altar sinks, the tapers fade. 

And all the splendid scene 's decay'd ; 

In window fair the painted pane 

No longer glows with holy stain. 

But through the broken glass the gale 

Blows chilly from the misty vale : 50 

The bird of eve flits sullen by. 

Her home, these aisles and arches high ; 

The choral hymn, that erst so clear 

Broke softly sweet on fancy's ear, 

Is drown'd amid the mournful scream, 

That breaks the magic of my dream ! 

Roused by the sound, I start and see 

The ruin'd sad reality ! 



Tune — ' The titlier morn, as I, forlorn.^ 

1 Yon wanderiEg rill, that marks the hill 

And glances o'er the brae, sir, 
Slides by a bower, where monj a flower 
Sheds fragrance on the day, sir. 

2 There Damon lay, with Sylvia gay, 

To love they thought nae crime, sir ; 
The wild birds sang, the echoes rang, 
AVhile Damon's heart beat time, sir. 


Tune — ' Major Graham.^ 

1 Ah, Chloris ! since it may na be 

That thou of love wilt hear ; 
If from the lover thou maun flee. 
Yet let the friend be dear. 

2 Although 1 love my Chloris mair 

Than ever tongue could tell ; 
^ly passion I will ne'er declare, 
I '11 say, I wish thee well. 

3 Though a' my daily care thou art. 

And a' my nightly dream, 
I '11 hide the struggle in my heart, 
And say it is esteem. 



1 As down the burn they took their way, 

And through the flowery dale ; 
Ilis cheek to hers he aft did lay, 
And love was aye the tale. 

2 With ' Mary, when shall we return, 

Sic pleasure to renew "? ' 
Quoth Mary, ' Love, I like the burn. 
And aye shall follow you.' 


Here cursing, swearing Burton lies, 

A buck, a beau, or ' Dem my eyes ! ' 

W^ho, in his life, did little good, 

And whose last words were ' Dem my blood ! ' 


1 Oh ! I am come to the low countrie, 

Och-on, och-on, och-rie ! 
Without a penny in my purse, 
To buy a meal to me. 

2 It was nae sae in the Highland hills, 

Och-on, och-on, och-rie ! 
Nae woman in the countrie wide 
Sae happy was as me. 


3 For then I bad a score o' kje, 

Och-on, ocli-on, ocli-rie ! 

Feeding on jon hills so high, 

And giving milk to me. 

4 And there I had three score o' jowes, 

Och-on, och-on, och-rie ! 
Skipping on jon bonnie knowes, 
And casting woo' to me. 

5 I was the happiest o' a clan, 

Sair, sair may I repine ; 
For Donald was the brawest lad, 
And Donald he was mine. 

6 Till Charlie Stuart cam' at last 

Sae far to set us free ; 
Mj Donald's arm was wanted then. 
For Scotland and for me. 

7 Their waefu' fate what need I tell. 

Right to the wrang did yield : 
My Donald and his country fell 
[Tpon Culloden's field. 

8 Oh, I am come to the low countric, 

Och-on, och-on, och-rie ! 

Nae woman in the world wide 

Sae wretched now as me. 

318 burns' poems. 


1 Oh, leeze me on mj wee thing, 
My bonnie blithesome wee thing ; 
Sae lang 's I ha'e my wee thing, 

I '11 think my lot divine. 

2 Though warld's care we share o't, 
And may see meikle mair o't : 
Wi' her I '11 blithely bear it, 

And ne'er a word repine. 


Tune — ' Oh, mount and go! 

1 When the drums do beat, 

And the cannons rattle, 
Thou shalt sit in state, 

And see thy love in battle. 


Oh, mount and go, 

Mount and make you ready ; 
Oh, mount and go, 

And be the captain's lady. 

2 "When the vanquish'd foe 

Sues for peace and quiet, 
To the shades we '11 go, 
And in love enjoy it. 



1 When I think on the happj days 

I spent M'i' you, my dearie ; 
And now what lands between us lie, 
How can I be but eerie 'i 

2 How slow ye move, ye heavy hours, 

As ye were wae and weary ! 
It wasna sae ye glinted by 
When I was wi' my dearie. 


1 With Pegasus upon a day, 

Apollo weary flying. 
Through frosty hills the journey lay, 
On foot the way was plying. 

2 Poor slip-shod giddy Pegasus 

Was but a sorry walker ; 
To Vulcan then Apollo goes. 
To get a frosty calker. 

3 Obliging Vulcan fell to work. 

Threw by his coat and bonnet, 
And did Sol's business in a crack ; 
Sol paid him with a sonnet. 

4 Ye Vulcan's sons of Wanlockhcad, 

Pity my sad disaster ; 
My Pegasus is poorly shod — 
I '11 pay you like my master. 

Robert Bujjns. 



Tune — ' Shawnhoy! 

1 Ye sons of old Killie, assembled bj Willie, 

To follow the noble vocation ; 
Your thrifty old mother has scarce such another 

To sit in that honoured station. 
I 've little to say, but only to pray, 

As praying 's the ton of your fashion ; 
A prayer from the Muse you well may excuse, 

'Tis seldom her favourite passion. 


Ye Powers who preside o'er the wind and the tide. 

Who marked each element's border ; 
Who formed this frame with beneficent aim. 

Whose sovereign statute is order ; 
Within this dear mansion, may wayward contention 

Or withered envy ne'er enter ; 
May secrecy round be the mystical bound, 

And brotherly love be the centre ! 


When first I began for to sigh and to woo her. 

Of many fine things I did say a great deal, 
But, above all the rest, that which pleased lier the best, 

Was, 'Oh, will you marry me, Shelah O'Neil V 
My point I soon carried, for straight we were married, 

Then the weight of my burden I soon 'gan to feel — 
For she scolded, she fisted, oh then I enlisted, 

Left Ireland, and whisky, and Shelah O'Neil ! 

SHELAH o'nEIL. 321 

2 Then tired and dull-hearted, oh then I deserted, 

And fled unto regions far distant from home, 
To Frederick's army, where none e'er could harm me, 

Save Shelah herself in the shape of a bomb. 
I fought every battle, where cannons did rattle, 

Felt sharp shot, alas ! and the sharp pointed steel ; 
But, in all my wars round, thank my stars, I ne'er found 

Ought so sharp as the tongue of cursed Shelah O'Neil. 

END OF burns' POEMS. 





A Bard's Epitaph . . . . i. 218 
A Dedication to Gavin Hamil- 
ton, Esq i. 143 

Addressed to a Gentleman at 

Table ii. 191 

Address, spoken by Miss Fonte- 

nelle on her Benefit-niglit . ii. 35 
Address to Edinburgh . . . i. 149 
Address to ^Ir Wm. Tytler . ii. 64 
Address to the De'il ... i. 49 
Address to the Shade of Thomson i, 21 
Address to the Toothache . . ii. 92 
Address to the Unco Guid, or 

t!ie Rigidly Righteous . . i. 79 

A Dream i. 64 

An Extemporaneous Effusion 

on being appointed to the 

Excise ii. 131 

Answer to a Poetical Epistle 

sent to the Author by a 

Tailor ii. 1C6 

Answer to Verses addressed to 

the Poet by the Guid wife of 

Wauchope- house . . . . ii. 173 
A Prayer in the Prospect of 

Death i. 126 

A Prayer under the Pressure of 

Violent Anguish . . . . i. 130 

A Toast ii. 188 

A Verse, Composed and Re- 

Keated by Burns to tlie 
laster of a House in the 
Highlands ii. 98 

Brigs of Ayr i. 36 

Burns' Answer to a Tailor . ii. 1C6 

Death and Dr Hornbook . . i. 29 

Delia ii. 228 

Despondency i. 113 

Elegy on Captain Matthew 
Henderson i. 188 


Elegy on the Death of Robert 

Ruisseaux ii. 169 

Elegy on the late Miss Burnet 

ofMonboddo ii. 48 

Elegy on the Year 1788 . . ii. 132 
Epigram on a Henpecked 

Country Squire . . . . ii. 199 
Epigram on a Henpecked 

Country Squire . . . . ii. 200 
Epigram on Andrew Turner . ii. 199 
Epigram on an Imaginary 

Slight at the Inn . . . . ii. 199 
Epigram on Captain Francis 
Grose, the celebrated Anti- 
quarian ii. 200 

Epigram on Elphinstone's 
Translation of Martial's 

Epigrams ii. 200 

Epigram on Miss J. Scott, Ayr ii. 200 
Epistle from a Tailor . . . ii. 1G4 
Epistle from Esopus to Maria ii. 77 
Epistle to a Young Friend . . i. 139 

Epistle to Davie i. 105 

Epistle to Hugh Parker . . ii. 1 70 
Epistle to Major W. Logan . ii. 102 
Epistle to J. Lapraik, an old 

Scottish Bard i. 151 

Epistle to J. Lapraik . . . i. 156 
Epistle to J. Raiikiiie . . . i. 166 
Epistle to Jolin Taylor . . . ii. 319 
Epistle to William Creech . . ii. 122 
Epitaph for Gavin Hamilton, 

Esq i. 218 

EpitaphforRobcrt Aiken, Esq. i. 218 
Epitaph for the Author's FatliLT i. 218 
Epita])h on a celebrated Ruling 

Elder i. 217 

Epitaph on a Friend . . . ii. 101 
Epitaph on a Henpecked 

Country Squire . . . . ii. 202 
Epitaph on a Noisy Polemic . i. 217 
Ejiitaiih on a Person Nick- 
named the Marquis, wlio 




desired Bums to write an 

Epitaph for him . . . . ii. 202 
Epitaph on a Schoolmaster in 

Cleish Parish, Fifeshire . . ii. 202 

Epitaph on a Suicide . . . ii. 204 

Epitaph on a Wag in Mauchiine ii. 201 
Epitaph on Gabriel Hichardson, 

Brewer, Dumfries . . . ii. 203 

Epitaph on Grizel Grim . . ii. 203 

Epitaph on Holy Willie . . ii. 114 

Epitaph on Mr Burton . . . ii. 316 
Epitaph on Mr W. Cruick- 

shanks ii. 201 

Epitaph on John Bushby, 

Writer, Dumfries . . . ii. 202 
Epitaph on Jolin Dove, Inn- 
keeper, Mauchiine . . . ii. 201 
Epitaph on Sir David Maxwell 

ofCardoness ii. 204 

Epitaph on the Death of a 

Lapdog named Echo . . ii. 204 

Epitaph on the Poet's Daughter ii. 203 

Epitaph on Walter S . . ii. 202 

Epitaph on Wee Johnny . . i. 218 

Epitaph on William Nicol . . ii. 203 

Epitaph on W . . ii. 203 

Epitaph on W . . ii. 203 

Extempore in the Court of Ses- 
sion ii. 151 

Extempore on the late Mr Wil- 
liam Smellie ii. 75 

Extempore to Mr Syme . . ii. 87 

Farewell, to Ayrshire . . ii. 98 
First Epistle to Mr Graham 

ofFintry i. 195 

Fourth Epistle to Mr Graham 

ofFintry i. 205 

Fragment, Inscribed to the 

Right Hon. C. J. Fox . . ii. 32 
Fragment of an Ode on Prince 

Charles Edward's Birthday ii. 90 
From Dr Blacklock to Burns ii. 37 

Grace after Meat . . . . ii. 102 

Grace before Meat . . . . ii. 101 

Grace spoken at the Table of 

the Earl of Selkirk , . . ii. 102 

Hallowe'en i. 85 

Holy Willie's Prayer . . . ii. Ill 

Impromptu, on Mrs Riddel's 

Birthday ii. 85 

Inscription on a Goblet . . ii. 1 98 
Inscription on the Tomb of 
Fergusson ii. 31 


Jesst Lewars ii. 188 

Lament for James, Earl of 

Glencairn i. 205 

Lament of Maiy, Queen of 

Scots i. 193 

Lament, written at a Time 
when the Poet was about to 
leave Scotland . . . . ii. 175 

Letter to James Tait, Glencon- 
nar ii. 179 

Letter to John Goudie, Kil- 
marnock ii. 80 

Liberty : a Fragment . . . ii. 169 

Lines on a Ploughman . . ii. 273 

Lines on Meeting with Basil, 
Lord Daer ii. 45 

Lines on Stirling . . . . ii. 195 

Lines sent to a Gentleman 
whom he had Offended . . ii. 90 

Lines sent to Sir John White- 
foord, of Whitefoord, Bart. i. 208 

Lines written and presented to 
Mrs Kemble ii. 196 

Lines written by Burns while 
on his Death-bed . . . ii. 197 

Lines written Extempore in a 

Lady's Pocket-book . . . ii. 196 

Lines written on a Bank Note ii. 192 

Lines written on a Copy of 
Thomson's Songs . . . . i. 272 

Lines written on a Pane of 
Glass ii. 195 

Lines written on a Pew in the 
Kirk of Lamingtou, in Cly- 
desdale ii, 192 

Lines written on a Window, at 
the King's Arms' Tavern, 
Dumfries ii. 196 

Lines written on a Window of 
tiie Globe Tavern, Dum- 
fries ii. 193 

Lines written under the Por- 
trait of the celebrated Miss 
Burns ii. 192 

Man was Made to Mourn . . i. 123 
Monody on a Lady famed for 
her Caprice ii. 76 

Ode, Sacred to the Memory 
of Mrs Oswald of Auchen- 
cruive i. 187 

On an Evening View of the 
Ruins of Liucluden Abbey . ii. 314 

On a Scotch Bard . . . . i. 136 

On being asked why God had 



vor. PAOK I 

made Miss Davies so Little 

and Mrs so Large . . ii. 194 

On Hearing that there was 
Falsehood in the Rev. Dr 
Blair's very Looks . . . ii. 147 

On Jessy Lewars' Sickness . ii. 187 

On Reading, in a Newspaper, 
the Death of John M'Leod, 
Esq i. 223 

On Robert Riddel, Esq. . . ii. 189 

On Scaring some Waterfowl 
in Loch-Turit i. 228 

On seeing a Wounded Hare 
limp by i. 216 

On seeing Miss Fontenelle in 
a Favourite Character . . ii. 30G 

On seeing the Beautiful Seat of 

Lord Galloway , . . . ii. 189 
"On the Same ii. 189 

On the Same ii. 189 

On Tam the Chapman . . . ii. 289 

On the Birth of a Posthumous 
Child i. 231 

On the Death of a Favourite 

Child ii. 181 

On the Death of Sir James 

Hunter Blair ii. 308 

On the Death of the Late Lord 
President ii. 184 

On the Late Captain Grose's 
Peregrinations through Scot- 
land i. 202 

On the Recovery of Jessy 
Lewars ii. 188 

Peg Nicholson . . . . ii. 186 
.^em, Addressed to Mr Mit- 
chell, Collector of Excise, 

Dumfries ii. 89 

loem on Life ii. 91 

loem on Pastoral Poetry . . ii. 69 
P)em, written to a Gentleman 
who had sent him a News- 
paper ii. 63 

Poetical Inscription for an 

\ltar to Independence . . ii. 75 
Prologue for Mr Sutherland's 

Benefit-night, Dumfries . ii. 148 
Prologue spoken at the Theatre, 

Dumfries ii. 33 

Prologue spoken by Mr Woods 
on bis Benefit-night . . . ii. 176 

Remorse ii. lOO 

Reply to a Gentleman who 
asked if be would not like to 
be a Soldier ii. 194 

vol. PAOB 

Reply to a Clergyman who 
wrote a Poetical Philippic 
against the lines on Stir- 
ling ii. 196 

Scotch Drink i. 9 

Second Epistle to Davie, a Bro- 
ther Poet i. 235 

Second Epistle to Mr Graham 

ofFintry ...... i. 198 

Sketch : New-year's Day . . ii. 73 
Sketch (W. Creech) . . . ii. 131 
Sonnet on the Death of Robert 

Riddel ii. 76 

Sonnet written on Hearing a 
Thrush sing in a Morning 

Walk ii. 87 

Stanzas on the Duke of 

Queensberry ii. 296 

Stanzasonthe prospect of Death i. 127 

Tam o' Shanter . . . . i. 209 

Tam Samson's Elegy . . . i. 81 
The Auld Farmer's New-Year 

Morning Salutation ... i. 96 
The Author's earnest Cry and 
Prayer to the Scotch Repre- 
sentatives in the House of 

Commons i. 13 

The Black-Headed Eagle: A 

Fragment ii. 308 

The Book- worms . . . . ii. 197 

The Calf i. 48 

Tiie Cottar's Saturday Night . i. 116 

The Creed of Poverty . . . ii. 194 
The Death and Dying Words 
of poor Mailie, the Author's 

only Pet Yowe .... i. 54 

The First Psalm i. 129 

The First Six Verses of the 

Ninetieth Psalm . . . . i. 131 
The Guidwife of AVauchope- 

house to Robert Burns . . ii. 172 

Tlie Henpecked Husband . . ii. 187 

The Holy Fair i. 20 

The Holy Tulzie, or Twa 

Herds ii. 118 

The Humble Petition of Bruar 

Water i. 225 

The Inventory ii. 81 

The Jolly Beggars : a Cantata ii. 133 

The Kirk's Alarm . . • . ii. 115 

The Lament i. 110 

The Ordination i. 44 

The Poet's Welcome to his Ille- 
gitimate Child . . . . ii. 178 
The Rights of Woman . . . ii. 86 




The Solemn League and Cove- 
nant .... . . . ii. 197 

The Toast ii. 187 

The Tree of Liberty . . . ii. 292 
The True Loyal Natives . . ii. 197 

The Twa Dogs i. 1 

The Vision i. 69 

The Vowels: a Tale . . . ii. 130 

The Whistle i. 232 

Third Epistle to Mr Graham of 

Fintry i. 202 

Tliird Epistle to J. Lapraik . ii. 105 

To a Haggis i. 141 

To a Kiss ii. 296 

To a Lady, with a present of a 

Pair of Drinking Glasses . ii. 128 

To a Louse i. 147 

To a Medical Gentleman, invit- 
ing him to attend a Masonic 
Anniversary Meeting . . ii. 193 
To a Mounlain Daisy . . . L 133 
To a Mouse ...... i. 100 

To a Young Lady .... ii. 86 

To Captain Riddel, Glenriddel ii. 127 

To Chloris ii. 3 

To Dr Blacldock .... ii. 39 
To Dr Maxwell, on Miss Jessy 

Staig's Recovery . . . . i. 277 
To Gavin Hamilton, Esq., 

Mauchline ii. 124 

To James Smith i. 58 

To John M'Murdo, Esq. . . ii. 186 
To Lord Galloway, on the 
Author being threatened 
with his Resentment . . ii. 190 
To Miss Cruikshauks . . . i. 222 
To Miss Logan . . . . . i. 135 
To Mr John Kennedy . . . ii. 300 
To Mr M'Adam, of Craigen- 
Gillan ii. 126 


To Mr Syme, with a Present 

of a Dozen of Porter . . . ii. 88 

To Jlrs C , on receiving a 

Work of Hannah More's . ii. 311 

To Ruin i. 134 

To Terraughty, on his Birthday ii. 1 27 

To the Owl ii. 305 

To the Reverend John M'Math ii. 107 
To the Right Honourable the 

Earl of Breadalbane . . . ii. 182 

To W. Simpson, Ochiltree . . i. 159 

Tragic Fragment . . . . ii. 129 

Vekses i. 128 

Verses addressed to J. Rankine ii. 1 98 
Verses addressed to the Land- 
lady of the Lin at Roslin . ii. 191 on the Destruction of 

the Woods near Drumlanrig ii. 288 
Verses to J. Rankine . . . ii. 147 
Verses to my Bed . . . . ii. 310 
Verses written on a Window of 

the Lin at Carron . . . ii. 190 
Verses written on the Blank 
Leaf of a Copy of his 

Poems ii. 191 

Verses written under the Por- 
trait of Fergusson, the Poet ii. 190 

Willie Chalmers . . . ii. 145 

AVinter L 115 

Winter Night i. 102 

Written in Friars-Carse Her- 
mitage i. 185 

Written with a Pencil over the 
Chimney-piece in the Par- 
lour of the Inn at Kenmore, 

Taymouth i. 229 

Written with a Pencil, stand- 
by the Fall of Fyers . . . i. 250 



A Bottle and an Honest 

Friend .,...., ii. 272 
Address to General Dumourier ii. 152 
Address to the Wood-Lark . i. 292 
Adown winding Nitli I did 

Wander i. 261 

Ae Fond Kiss ii. 244 

A Fig for those by Law pro- 
tected ii. 144 

A Fragment ii. 270 

A Fragment ." i. 171 

Afton Water ii. .o5 

Again rejoicing Nature sees . i. 179 

Ah, Chloris ii. 315 

A Highland Lad my love was 

born ii. 138 

Amang the Trees . . . . ii. 234 
A Mother's Lament for the 

Death of her Son . . . . ii. 228 
Anna, thy Charms . . . . i. 223 
A Red, Red Rose . . . . ii. 63 
A Rose-bud by my Early Walk ii. 14 
As Down the Burn . , , . ii. 316 
As I was a-wandering . . . ii. 210 

Auld Lang Syne i. 266 

AuM Rob Morris . . . . i. 242 
A Vision ii. 63 

Bannocks o' Barley . . . ii. 285 

Behold tlie Hour . . . . i. 265 

Bess and her Spinning Wheel ii 28 

Beware o' Bonnie Ann . . . ii. 287 

Blithe hac I been on yon Hill i. 253 

Blithe was She ii. 13 

Bonnie Jean i. 256 

Bonnie Lesley i. 240 

Bonnie Peg ii. 286 


Bonnie Peggy Alison . . . ii. 259 

Braving angry Winter's Storms ii. 1 5 

Braw Lads of Gala Water . ii. 291 
By Allan Stream I chanced to 

Rove i. 259 

Caledonia i. 294 

Caledonia ii. 66 

Canst thou leave me thus, my 

Katy? i. 287 

Castle-Gordon ii. 47 

Ca' tlie Yowes to the Rnowes i. 274 

Cauld is the E'ening Blast . ii. 224 

Chloris ....... _i. 281 

Clout the Caudron . . . . ii. 141 

Cock up your Beaver . . . ii. 263 

Come Boat me o'er to Charlie ii. 250 
Come, let me take Thee to my 

breast i. 262 

Come Rede Me, Dame . . . ii. 291 

Coming through the Rye . . ii. 251 

Contented wi' Little . . . i. 287 

Could Aught of Song . . . ii. 218 

Cragieburn Wood . . . . i. 290 

Dainty Davie ..... i. 263 

Damon and Sylvia . . . . ii. 316 

Deluded Swain, the pleasure . i. 268 

Duncan Gray i. 243 

Election Ballads — 

Hailad L . 

B;ilhi(l ii. . 

Halhnl III. 

Ballad IV. . 

Ballad V. . 
Eppic Adair . 










Fair Eliza ii. 49 

Fairest Maid on Devon Banks ii. 8 

Fair Jenny ..*... i. 267 
Farewell, thou Stream that 

winding flows i. 284 

Farewell to Clarinda . . . ii. 17 
First when Maggy was my 

Care ii. 253 

For a' That, and a' That . . i. 289 
Forlorn, my Love, no comfort 

near ii. 4 

Frae the Friends and Land I 

Love ii. 213 

Fragment ii. 6 

From thee, Eliza, I must go . i. 182 

Gala Water i. 245 

Gane is the Day ii. 26 

Gloomy December .... a. 53 

Green grow the Rashes . . i. 177 

Had I a Cave i. 259 

HadltheWyte? . . . . ii. 252 

Handsome Nell ii. 302 

Happy Friendship . . . , ii. 295 

Hee Balou ii. 285 

Her Daddie Forbade . . . ii. 275 

Her Flowing Locks . . . ii. 254 
Here's a Health to Them 

that 's Awa' ii. 242 

Here 's his Health in Water . ii. 280 

Here 's to thy Health . . . ii. 219 

Hey for the Lass wi' a Tocher ii. 6 

Hey, the Dusty Miller . . . ii. 275 

Highland Mary i. 241 

How can I be Blithe and Glad ii. 245 

How cniel are the Parents . i. 295 
How lang and dreary is the 

Night i. 278 

Hunting Song ii. 256 

I am a Bard of no regard . . ii. 144 

I am a Son of Mars . . . ii. 134 

I am my Mammy's ae Bairn . ii. 265 

I Dream'd I Lay . . . ii. 297 

I Gaed a Waefu' Gate Yestreen ii. 22 

I once was a Maid . . . . ii. 135 

I '11 aye Ca' in by Yon Town ii. 236 
It isna, Jean, thy Bonnie Face ii. 211 
It was upon a Lammas Night i. 174 

Jamie, come Try Me . . . ii. 216 

Jessie i. 249 

Jessie ii. 7 

Jockey 's ta'en the Parting Kiss ii. 95 
John Anderson, my Jo . . ii. 23 

John Barleycorn i. 169 


KENye ought o' Captain Grose? ii. 96 

Lady Maet Ann . . . . ii. 225 

Lady Onlie ii. 247 

Landlady, Count the Lawin' . ii. 265 

Lassie wi' the Lint-white Locks i. 283 

Last May a Braw Wooer . . ii. 4 

Let not Woman e'er complain i. 278 

Logan Water i. 254 

Lord Gregory i. 246 

Louis, what Reck I by Thee ? ii. 57 

Lovely Davies ii. 208 

Lovely Polly Stewart . . . ii. 207 

Luckless Fortune , . . . ii. 303 

Macpherson's Farewell . . ii. 233 
Mark yonder Pomp . . . . i. 296 

Mary ii. 258 

Mary Morison i. 247 

Meg o' the Mill i. 252 

Meikle Thinks my Love . . ii. 25 
Merry hae I been Teethiu' a 

Heckle ii. 212 

Montgomery's Peggy . . . ii. 287 
Musing on the Roaring Ocean ii. 12 
My Bonnie Maiy .... ii. 31 
My Collier Laddie ' . . . . ii. 246 
My Father was a Farmer . . ii. 293 
My Harry was a Gallant Gay ii. 235 
My Heart 's in the Highlands ii. 264 
My Heart was Ance '. . . ii. 230 
My Hoggie . . . . , . ii. 240 

My Jean ii. 235 

My Lady's Gown, there 's 

Gairs upon 't ii. 227 

My Love she 's but a Lassie yet ii. 241 
My Nannie 's Awa' . . . . i. 288 

My Nannie, ! L 178 

My Peggy's Face .... ii. 95 
My Spouse, Nancy . . . . i. 269 
My Wife's a Winsome Wee 

Thing i. 239 

Naebody ii. 43 

Nancy i. 269 

Nithsdale's Welcome Hame . ii. 209 
No Churchman am I . , . i 184 

Of a' the Airts ii. 19 

Oh, Ane-an-Twenty, Tam . ii. 27 

Oh, aye my Wife she Dang me ii. 255 

Oh, Bonnie was yon Rosy Brier ii. 2 
Oh, gin my Love were yon 

Red Rose i. 255 

Oh, Gude Ale comes . . . ii. 215 

Oh, Kenraure 's on and a^va' . ii. 301 

Oh, lay thy Loof in mine, Lass ii. 221 




Oh, leave Novels . . . . ii. 271 

Oh, Leeze roe on my "Wee Thing ii. 318 

Oh, Luve will venture in . . ii. 50 
Oh, Mally's meek, Mally 's 

sweet ii. 225 

Oh, saw ye my Dearie? . . ii. 206 

Oh, Steer her up . . . . ii. 220 
Oh, that I had ne'er been 

Married ii. 218 

Oh, watye Wha'sin yonTown ii. 61 

Oh, were I on Pernassus' Hill ii. 18 
Oh, wert Thou in the Cauld 

Blast! ii. 85 

Oh, wha is She that Loes me? ii. 94 

Oh, whare did ye Get ? . . ii. 267 
Oh, wha will to Saint Stephen's 

House? ii. 221 

Oh Whistle, and I'll come to 

you, my Lad i. 260 

Oh, why the Deuce should I 

Repine? ii. 304 

Lassie, art thou sleeping yet i. 291 

May, thy Jlom . . . . ii. 61 

On a Young Lady .... ii. 46 

On ii. 312 

On Cessnock Banks . . . ii. 259 

On Chloris being ill ... i. 293 

On Sensibility ii. 97 

On the Battle of Sheriff- Muir ii. 71 

On the Seas and Far Away . i. 273 

Open the Door to me, ! . . i. 249 

Poortith Cauld . . . . i. 244 

Our Tluissles Flourish'd . . ii. 213 

Out over the Forth . . . . ii. 246 

Phillis the Fair . . . . i. 258 

Philly and Willy i. 285 

Ratlin', Roarin' Willie . . ii. 279 
Raving Winds around her 

Blowing ii. 11 

Robin ii. 270 

Robin Shure in Hairst . . . ii. 217 

Sae Far Away ii. 277 

Saw ye my Phely ? . . . . i. 277 

Scots wlia hae i. 264 

Shelah O'Neil ii. 320 

She 's Fair and Pause . . . ii. 54 
She says she Lo'cs me best of 

a' i. 275 

Sic a Wife as Willie had . . ii. 52 

Simmer 's a Pleasant Time . ii. 215 

Sir Wisdom's a Fool . . . ii. 136 

Somebody ii. 58 

Song, altered from an old Eng- 
lish one i. 282 


Song composed in August . . i. 175 

Song of Death ii. 42 

Stay, my Charmer, can you 

leave me? ii. 9 

Strathallan's Lament . . . ii. 10 
Sweet closes the Evening . . ii. 229 
Sweetest May ii. 306 

Tam Glen ii. 24 

The Bairns Gat Out ... ii. 254 
The Banks of Cree . . . . i. 271 
The Banks o' Doon .... ii. 51 
The Banks o' Doon . . . . ii. 312 
The Banks of Nith .... ii. 22 
TheBirksof Aberfeldy . . ii. 8 
The Blude-Red Rose at Yule 

may Blaw ii. 249 

The Bonnie Blink o' Mary's E'e ii. 243 
The Bonnie Lass o' Ballochmyle ii. 58 
The Bonnie Wee Thing . . ii. 27 
The Braes o' Ballochmyle . . ii. 20 
The Captain's Lady . . . ii. 318 

The Cardin' o't ii. 277 

The Carle of Kellyburn Braes ii. 281 
Tlie Carles of Dysart . , . ii. 240 
The Chevalier's Lament . . ii. 42 
The Country Lassie . . . ii. 29 
The Day Returns .... ii. 17 
The Dean of Faculty . . . ii. 149 
The Discreet Hint . . . . ii. 297 
The Dumfries Volunteers . . ii. 88 

The Exciseman ii. 238 

The Farewell to the Brethren 
of St James's Lodge, Tar- 

bolton i. 182 

The Gallant Weaver . . . ii. 57 
The Gloomy Night is gather- 
ing fast i. 180 

Tlie Gowden Locks of Anna . ii. 237 
The Higliland Laddie . . . ii. 207 
The Highland Lassie . . . ii. 83 
The Highland Widow's La- 
ment ii. 316 

The .loyful Widower . . . ii. 276 
The Laddies by the Banks o' 

Nith ii. 248 

The Lass of Ecclefechan . . ii. 211 

Tlie Lazy Mist ii. 18 

The Lea-Rig i. 237 

The Lovely Lass of Inverness ii. 60 
The Lover' Morning Salute to 

his Mistress i. 279 

The Mauchline Belles . . . ii, 272 
Tlieniel Mouzies' Bonnie JIary ii. 232 

The Ploughman ii. 262 

The Rantin' Dog the Daddie 
o't ii. 269 




There 's a Youth in this City . ii. 278 
Tliere was a Bonnie La^s . . ii. 224 
There 's News, Lasses, News ii. 217 
There was a Lass . . . . ii. 231 
There '11 Never be Peace . . ii. 41 
The Smiling Sprino; . . . ii. 56 
The Sons of Old Killie . . . ii. 320 

The Tailor ii. 234 

The Tither Morn . . . . ii. 205 
The AVeary Fund o' Tow . . ii. 266 
The "Winter of Life .... i. 280 
The Young Highland Rover . ii. 11 
This is no my ain Lassie . . i. 297 
Thou hast left me ever, Jamie i. 265 
Tibbie Dunbar . . . . ii. 304 
Tibbie, I hae seen the Day . ii. 15 

To Clarinda ii. 290 

To Mary in Heaven . . . ii. 44 
To Mr Cunningham . . . ii. 1 
To thee. Loved Nith . . . ii. 263 
'Twas na her Bonnie Blue E'e i. 295 

Up in the IMorning Early . . ii. 239 

Wae is my Heart . . . . ii. 261 
Wandering AYiilie . . . . i. 248 


Weary fa' you, Duncan Gray . ii. 238 
Wee Willie Gray . . . . ii. 286 
Wlia is that at my Bower 

Door? ii. 268 

What can a Young Lassie . . ii. 26 
When first I came to Stewart 

Kyle ii. 311 

When I think on the Happy 

Days ii. 319 

When Rosy May . . . ii. 284 
When wild War's deadly Blast 

was Blavvn i. 250 

Where hae ye been? . . . ii. 214 
Whistle o'er the Lave o't . . ii. 139 
AVillie Brew'd a Peck o' Maut ii. 21 
Will ye Go to the Indies, my 

Mary? i. 238 

Wilt Thou be my Dearie? . i. 271 

Ye hae Lien a' Wrang, Lassie ii. 313 

Ye Jacobites by Name . . . ii. 283 

Yon Wild Mossy Mountains . ii. 273 
Young Jamie, pride of a' the 

Plain ii. 278 

Young Jockey ii. 255 

Young Peggy ii. 257 


A CAULD, cauld kirk and in 't but few, ii. 192 

Adieu ! a heart-warm, foud adieu ! i. 182 

Admiring Nature iu her wildest grace, i. 229 

Adovvu winding Nith I did wander, i. 261 

Ae day, as Death, that grusome carle, ii. 147 

Ae foud kiss, and then we sever, ii. 244 

Again rejoicing Nature sees, i. 179 

Again the silent wheels of Time, i. 135 

A guid new-year I wish thee, Maggie, i. 96 

Ah, Chloris, since it may na be, ii. 315 

A Highland lad my love was born, ii. 138 

A little, upright, pert, tart, tripping wight, ii, 131 

All devil as I am, a damned wretch, ii. 129 

All hail ! inexorable lord, i. 134 

A' the lads o' Thornie bank, ii. 247 

A' ye wha live by soups o' drink, i. 139 

Although my back be at the wa', ii. 280 

Although my bed were in yon muir, ii. 287 

Amang the trees, where humming bees, ii. 234 

Among the heathy hills and ragged woods, i, 230 

Ance mair I liail thee, thou gloomy December, ii. 53 

An honest man here lies at rest, ii. 101 

Anna, thy charms my bosom fire, i. 223 

An' oh for aiie-and-twenly. Tarn, ii. 27 

And oh ! my Eppie, ii. 250 

A rose-bud by my early walk, ii. 14 

As down the burn they took their way, ii. 316 

As father Adam first was fool'd, ii. 202 

As I came iu by our gate end, ii. 280 

As 1 stood by yon looHess tower, ii. C3 

As I was a-wand'ring ae mid.nnnmer e'enin', ii. 210 

As I was a-wand'ring ae morning in spring, ii. 273 

Ask why God made the gem so small, ii. 194 

As Mailie and her lambs thegither, i. 54 

As on the banks o' wandering Nith, ii. 288 

As Tain the Cliai)man on a day, ii. 2»9 

Auld chuckle llcekie's .«air distres.s'd, ii. 122 

Auid comrade dear and brither sinner, ii. 179 

Awa' Whigs, awa', ii. 213 

Awa' wi' yoiu- witchcraft o' beauty's alarms, ii. G 

Bannocks o' bear meal, ii. 285 


Beauteous rose-bud young and gay, i. 222 
Before I saw Clarinda's face, ii. 290 
Behind yon hills where Lugar flows, i. 177 
Behold the hour, the boat arrive, i. 265 
Below thir stanes lie Jamie's banes, i. 217 __ 
Beyond thee, dearie, beyond thee, dearie, ii. 229 
Bless the Redeemer, Cardouess, ii._204: 
Blithe, blithe and merry was she, ii. 13 
Blithe hae I been on yon hill, i. 253 
Bonnie lassie, will ye go, ii. 8 
Bonnie wee tliuig, cannie wee thing, ii. 27 
Braw, braw lads of Gala Water, ii. 291 
Bright ran thy line, Galloway, ii. 189 
But lately seen in gladsome green, i._280 
But rarely seen since Nature's birth, ii. 188 
By Allan stream I chanced to rove, i. 259 
By yon castle wa', at the close of the day, ii. 41 

Can I cease to care, i. 293 

Canst thou leave me thus, my Katy, I 287 

Ca' the yowes to the knowes, i. 274 

Cauld is the e'eniu' blast, ii. 224 

Cease, ye prudes, your envious railing, ii. 192 

Clarinda, mistress of my soul, ii. 1 7 

Come boat me o'er, come row me o'er, ii. 250 

Come, let me take thee to my breast, i. 262 

Come rede me, dame, come tell me, dame, ii. 291 

Coming through the rye, puir body, ii. 251 

Contented wi' little, and cantie wi' mair_, i. 287 

Could aught of song declare my pains, ii. 218 __ 

Cursed be the man, the poorest wretch in life, ii. 187 

Curse on ungrateful man, that can be pleased, ii. 190 

Dear Burns, thou brother of my heart, ii. 37 
Dear Smith, the sleest, paukie thief, i. 58 
Deluded swain, the pleasure, i. 268 
Dire was the hate at old Harlaw, ii. 149 
Does haughty Gaul invasion threat, ii. 88 
Duncan Gray cam here to woo, i. 243 
Dweller in you dungeon dark, i. 187 

Earth'd up here lies an imp o' hell, ii. 204 
Edina ! Scotia's darling seat, i. 149 
Expect na, Sir, in this narration, i. 143 

Fair empress of the poet's soul, ii. 128 

Fairest maid on Devon banks, ii. 8 

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, i. 141 

Fair the face of orient day, ii. 228 

False flatterer, Hope, away, ii. 99 

Farewell, thou fair day, thou green earth, and ye skies, ii. 42 

Farewell, thou stream that winding flows, i. 284 

Farewell, ye dungeons dark and strong, ii. 233 

Fate gave the word, the arrow sped, ii. 228 

Fill me with the rosy wine, ii._187 

Fintry, my stay in worldly strife, i. 198 

First when Maggy was my care, ii. 253 

Flow gently, sweet Afton, among thy green braes, ii. 55 


For lords or kings I dinna moiim, ii. 132 
Forlorn, my love, no comfort near, ii. 4 
Frae the friends and land I love, ii. 213 
Friday first 's the day appointed, ii. 193 
Friend of the poet, tried and leal, ii. 89 
From thee, Eliza, I must go, i. 182 
From those drear solitudes and frowsy cells, ii. 77 
Fy, let us a' to Kirkcudbright, ii. 157 

Gane is the day, and mirk 's the night, ii. 26 

Go fetch to me a pint of wine, ii. 31 

Grant me, indulgent Heaven, that I may live, ii. 196 

Guid-mornin' to your Majesty, i. 64 

Guid speed an' furder to you, Johnnie, ii. 105 

Had I a cave on some wild, distant shore, i. 259 

Had I the wyte, had I the wyte, ii. 252 

Hail, Poesie ! thou nymph reserved, ii. 69 

Hail, thairm-inspirin', rattlin' Willie, ii. 102 

Has add Kilmarnock seen the Deil, i. 81 

Ha ! whare ye gaun, ye crawlin' ferlie, i. 147 

Health to the Maxwells' veteran chief, ii. 127 

Heard ye o' the tree o' France, ii. 292 

He clench'd his pamphlets in his fist, ii. 151 

Hee balou ! my sweet wee Donald, ii. 285 

Her daddie forbade, her minnie forbade, ii. 275 

Here around the ingle bleezing, ii. 295 

Here awa', there awa', wandering Willie, i. 248 

Here Brewer Gabriel's fire 's extinct, ii. 203 

Here cursing, swearing Burton lies, ii. 316 

Here Holy Willie's sair-worn clay, ii. 114 

Here is the glen and here the bower, i. 271 

Here 's a bottle and an honest friend, ii. 272 

Here 's a health to ane I lo'e dear, ii. 7 

Here 's a health to them tliat 's awa', ii. 242 

Here 's to thy health, my bonnie lass, ii. 219 

Here, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots, i. 220 

Here lies a mock marquis, whose titles were shamm'd, ii. 202 

Here lies a rose, a budding rose, ii. 203 

Here lies John Bushby, honest man, ii. 202 

Here lies Johnny Pigeon, ii. 201 

Here lies with death auld Grizel Grim, ii. 203 

Here lie Willie Michie's bancs, ii. 202 

Here souter Hood in death does sleep, i. 217 

Here Stuarts once in glory reign'd, ii. 195 

Here, where the Scottish JIuse immortal lives, i. 272 

Her flowing locks, the raven's wing, ii. 254 

He who of Raukine sang lies stiQ'and dead, ii. 19f 

Hey, the dusty miller, ii. 275 

Honest Will's to heaven gaiie, ii. 201 

How can my poor heart be glad, i. 273 

How cold is that bosom whicii folly once fired, ii. 76 

How cruel are the parents, i. 295 

How lang and dreary is the niglit, i. 278 

How pleasant the banks of the clear-winding Devon, ii. 40 

How shall I sing Drumlanrig's grace, ii. 296 

How wisdom and folly meet, mix, and unite, ii. 32 

Humid seal of soft afl'ections, ii. 296 


Husband, husband, cease your strife, i. 269 

I AH a bard of no regard, ii. 142 

I am a keeper of the hiw, ii. 198 

I am a son of Maivs, who have been in many wars, ii. 134 

I am my mammie's ae bairn, ii. 265 

I call no goddess to inspire my strains, i. 205 

I coft a stane o' haslock woo', ii. 277 

I dream'd I lay where flowers were springing, ii. 297 

I gaed a wacfu' gate yestreen, ii. 22 

I gat your letter, winsome Willie, i. 159 

I hae a wife o' my ain, ii. 43 

I hold it, sir, my bounden duty, ii. 124 

I lang hae thought, my youthfu' friend, i. 136 

I '11 aye ca' in by yon town, ii. 236 

I '11 kiss thee, yet, yet, ii. 259 

I 'm three times doubly owre your debtor, i. 235 

I married with a scolding wife, ii. 276 

I mind it weel, in early date, ii. 173 

I murder hate by field or flood, ii. 194 

I once was a maid, though I cannot tell when, ii. 135 

In coming by the brig o' Dye, ii. 232 

Inhuman man ! curse on thy barb'rous art, i. 216 

In Mauchline there dwells six proper young belles, ii. 272 

In politics, if thou wouldst mix, ii. 194 

In se'enteen hundred forty-nine, ii. 109 

In simmer, when the hay was mawn, ii. 29 

Instead of a song, boys, I'll give you a toast, ii. 188 

In this strange land, this uncouth clime, ii. 170 

In wood and wild, ye warbling throng, ii. 204 

I sing of a whistle, a whistle of worth, i. 232 

Is there a whim-inspired fool, i. 218 

Is there, for honest poverty, i. 289 

It is na, Jean, thy bonnie face, ii. 211 

It was the charming month of May, i. 282 

It was upon a Lammas night, i. 174 

Jamie, come try me, ii. 216 

Jockey 's ta'en the parting kiss, ii. 95 

John Anderson, my jo, John, ii. 23 

Kemble, thou curest my unbelief, ii. 196 
Ken ye ought o' Captain Grose, ii. 96 
Kilmarnock wabsters, fidge and claw, i. 44 
Kind sir, 1 've read your paper through, ii. 68 
Know then, stranger to the fame, i. 218 

Lament him, Mauchline husbands a', ii. 201 

Lament in rhyme, lament in prose, i. 56 

Landlady, count the lawin, ii. 265 

Lassie wi' the lint-white locks, i. 283 

Lass, when your mitiier is frae hame, ii. 297 

Last l\Lay a braw wooer cam down the lang glen, ii. 4 

Late crippled of an arm, and now a leg, i. 202 

Let me ryke up to digiit that tear, ii. 139 

Let not woman e'er coniphiin, i. 278 

Let other poets raise a fracas, i. 9 

Life ne'er exulted in so rich a prize, ii. 48 


Like ^sop's lion, Burns says, sore I feel, ii. 190 
Lone on the bleaky hills the straying flocks, ii. 184 
l^ong life, my lord, an' health be yoars, ii 182 
Loud blaw the frosty breezes, ii. 11 
Louis, what reck I by thee, ii. 57 

Mark yonder pomp of costly fashion, i. 296 

Maxwell, if merit here you crave, i. 277 

Musing on the roaring ocean, ii. 12 

My blessings on you, sonsy wife, ii. 191 

My bonnie lass, I work in brass, ii. 141 

My canty, witty, rhyming ploughman, ii. 172 

My Chloris, mark how green the groves, i. 281 

My curse upon thy venoni'd stang, ii. 92 

My father was a farmer, ii. 298 

My Harry was a gallant gay, ii, 235 

My heart is a breaking, dear Tittie, ii. 24 

My heart is sair, I dare na tell, ii. 58 

My heart 's in the Highlands, my heart is not here, ii. 2C4 

My heart was ance as blithe and free, ii 230 

My honour'd colonel, deep I feel, ii. 91 

¥/ Y^K^ ^°^°' ^'^^^^ '^ ^^■'■s "Po° \ ii- 227 
My Lord, I know your noble ear, i. 225 

My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend, i. IIG 

My love, she 's but a lassie yet, ii. 241 

My Peggy's face, my Peggy's form, ii. 95 

Nae gentle dames, though e'er sae fair, ii. 83 

^o churchman am I for to rail and to write, i 184 

^o more of your guests, be they titled or not, ii. 87 

^o more, ye warblers of the wood, no more, ii. 76 

^o song nor dance I bring from yon great city, ii. 33 

No Stewart art thou, Galloway, ii. 189 

Now bank and brae are claithed in green ii 943 

Now in her green mantle blithe Nature arrays" i 288 

Now, Kennedy, if foot or horse, ii. 300 

Now Nature hangs her mantle green, i. 193 

Now Robin lies in his last lair, ii. ] 69 

Now rosy May comes in wi' floAvers, i. 263 

Now spring has clad the grove in green ii 1 

Now westlin' winds, and slaught'ring guns', i. 175 

Death, hadst thou but spared his life, ii 199 
Death ! thou tyrant fell and bloody, i 188 
O'er the mist-shrouded cliffs of the lone mountain straying, ii. 175 
Of a' the airts the wind can blaw, ii. 19 / s. • ^ <•> 

Of all the numerous ills that hurt our peace, ii. 100 
O Goudie ! teiTor o' the Whigs, ii. 80 
Oh, a' ye pious godly flocks, ii. lis 
Oh, aye my wife she dang me, ii. 255 
Oh, bonny was yon rosy brier, ii. 2 
Oh, cam ye here the fight to shun, ii. 71 
Oh, could I give thee India's wealth, ii 186 
Oh, gat ye me, oh, gat ye me, ii. 211 
Oh, gin my love were yon red rose, i. 255 
Oh, pid ale comes, and guid ale goes, ii. 215 
Oh, had each Scot of ancient times, ii. 200 
Oh, had the malt thy strength of mind, ii, 88 


Oh, how can I be blithe and glad, ii. 245 

Oh, how shall I, unskilful, try, ii. 208 

Oh, I am come to the low countrie, ii. 316 

Oh, Kenmure's on and awa', Willie, ii. 301 

Oh, ken ye what Meg o' the Mill has gotten, i. 252 

Oh, Lady Mary Ann, ii. 225 

Oh, lay thy loot' in mine, lass, ii. 221 

Oh, leave novels, ye Mauchline belles, ii. 271 

Oh, leeze me on my spinning wheel, ii. 28 

Oh, leeze me on my wee thing, ii. 318 

Oh, Logan, sweetly didst thou glide, i. 254 

Oh, luve will venture in, where it daur na weel be seen, ii. 50 

Oh, M ally's meek, Mally's sweet, ii. 225 

Oh, meikle thinks my luve o' my beauty, ii. 25 

Oh, merry hae I been teethin' a heckle, ii. 212 

Oh, mirk, mirk is this midnight hour, i. 24G 

Oh, my luve 's like a red, red rose, ii. 63 

Oh, once I loved a bonnie lass, ii. 302 _ 

Oh, open the door, some pity to show, i. 249 

Oh, poortith cauld, and restless love, i. 244 

Oh, raging fortune's withering blast, ii. 303 

Ob, rattlin', roarin' Willie, ii. 279 

Oh, rough, rude, ready-witted Rankine, i. 166 

Oh, sad and heavy should I part, ii. 277 

Oh, saw ye bonnie Lesley, i. 240 

Oh, saw ye my dearie, my Eppie M'Nab, ii. 206 

Oh, saw ye my dear, my Phely, i. 277 

Oh, stay, sweet warbling wood- lark, stay, i. 292 

Oh, steer her up and baud her gaun, ii. 220 

Oh, sweet be thy sleep in the land of the grave, ii. 181 

Oh, that I had ne'er been married, ii. 218 

Oh, this is no my ain lassie, i. 297 

Oh, wat ye wha 's in yon town, ii. 61 

Oh, were I on Parnassus' hill, ii. 18 

Oh, wert thou in the cauld blast, ii. 85 

Oh, wha is she that lo'es me, ii. 94 

Oh, wha my babie-clouts will buy, ii. 269 

Oh, whar did ye get that liauver meal bannock, il. 267 

Oh, wha will to St Stephen's house, ii. 221 

Oh, whistle and I '11 come to you, my lad, i. 260 

Oh, why the deuce should I repine, ii. 304 

Oh, Willie brew'd a peck o' maut, ii. 21 

Oh, wilt thou go wi' me, ii. 304 

lassie, art thou sleeping yet, i. 291 

Old Winter with his frosty beard, ii. 85 

lovely Polly Stewart, ii. 207 

Mary, at thy window be, i. 247 

May, thy morn was ne'er sae sweet, ii. 61 

Once fondly loved, and still remember'd dear, ii. 191 

On Cessnock banks there lives a lass, ii. 259 

One night as I did wander, ii. 270 

One Queen Artemisia, as old stories tell, ii. 200 

Philly, happy be that day, i. 285 

Oppress'd with grief, oppress'd with care, i. 113 

Orthodox, orthodox, wha believe in John Knox, ii. 115 

Thou dread Power, who reign'st above, i. 128 

Thou Great Being ! what Thou art, i. 130 

Thou in whom we live and move, ii. 102 


thou pale Orb, that silent shines, i. 110 

thou, the first, the greatest friend, i. 131 

Thou unknown, Almighty Cause, i. 126 

Thou, wha in the heavens dost dwell, ii. Ill 

thou ! whatever title suit thee, i. 49 

Thou, who kindly dost provide, ii. 101 

thou whom poetry abhors, ii. 200 

Tibbie, I hae seen the day, ii. 15 

Out over the Forth I look to the north, ii. 246 

ye wlia are sae guid yoursel', i. 79 

ye whose cheek the tear of pity stains, i. 2 18 

Peg Nicholson -was a good bay mare, ii. 186 
Powers celestial, whose protection, ii. 258 

Rash mortal and slanderous poet, thy name, ii. 195 
Eaving winds around her blowing, ii. 11 
Rest gently, turf, upon his breast, ii. 203 
Revered defender of beauteous Stuart, ii. 64 
Right, sir, your text I '11 prove it true, i. 48 
Robin shure in hairst, ii. 217 

Sad bird of night, what sorrow calls thee forth, ii. 305 

Sad thy tale, thou idle page, i. 223 

Sae flaxen were her ringlets, i. 275 

Say, sages, what 's the charm on earth, ii. 187 

Scenes of woe and scenes of pleasure, ii. 98 

Scots, wha hae wi' Wallace bled, i. 264 

Searching auld wives barrels, ii. 131 

See ! the smoking bowl before us, ii. 144 

Sensibility, how charming, ii. 97 

She is a winsome wee thing, i. 289 

She 's fair and fause that causes my smart, ii. 54 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, i. 266 

Shrewd Willie Smellie to Crochallau came, ii. 75 

Sic a reptile was Wat, ii. 202 

Simmer's a plea-sant time, ii. 215 

Sing on, sweet Thrush, upon the leafless bough, ii. 87 

Sir, as your mandate did request, ii. 81 

Sir, o'er a gill I gat your card, ii. 126 

Sir Wisdom 's a fool when he '» fou', ii. 136 

Sleep'st thou, or wakest tliou, fairest creature, i. 279 

Some books are lies frae end to end, i. 29 

Some hae meat tiiat caiina eat, ii. 102 

Spare me thy vengeance, Galloway, ii. 190 

Stay, my charmer, can you leave me, ii. 9 

Still anxious to secure your partial favour, ii. .^5 

Stop thief! dame Nature cried to Deatli, ii. 203 

Streams that glide in orient plains, ii. 47 

Sweetest May, let love inspire thee, ii. 306 

Sweet fa's the eve on Craigie-burn, i. 290 

Sweet floweret, pledge o' mcikle love, i. 231 

Sweet uaivet(j of feature, ii. 306 

Talk not to me of savages, ii. 188 
That there is falsehood in iiis looks, ii. 147 
The bairns gat out wi' an unco shout, ii. 254 
The black-headed eagle, ii. 307 


The blude-red rose at Yule may blaw, ii, 249 

The bonniest lad that e'er I saw, ii. 207 

The Catrine woods were j'ellow seen, ii. 20 

The day returns, my bosom burns, ii. 17 

The Deil cam fiddling through the town, ii. 233 

The Devil got notice that Grose was a-dying, ii. 200 

Thee, Caledonia, thy wild heaths among, ii. 169 

The friend whom, wild from wisdom's way, ii. 90 

The gloomy night is gathering fast, i. 180 

The graybeard. Old Wisdom, may boast of his treasures, ii. 103 

The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn, ii. 256 

Their groves o' sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon, i. 294 

The laddies by the banks o' Nith, ii. 248 

The lamp of day, with ill-presaging glare, ii. 307 

The lazy mist hangs from the brow of the hill, ii. 18 

The lovely lass of Inverness, ii. 60 

The man in life wherever placed, i. 129 

The noble Maxwells and their powers, ii. 209 

The ploughman he's a bonnie lad, ii. 262 

The poor man weeps — here Gavin sleeps, i. 218 

There lived a carle on Kellyburn braes, ii. 281 

There 's auld Rob Morris that wons in yon glen, i. 242 

There 's a youth in this city, ii. 278 

There 's braw, braw lads on Yarrow braes, i. 245 

There 's death in the cup, sae beware, ii. 198 

There's news, lasses, news, ii. 217 

There 's nought but care on every ban', i. 178 

There was a bonnie lass, ii. 224 

There was a lad was born in Kyle, ii. 270 

There was a lass, and she was fair, i. 256 

There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg, ii. 231 

There was once a day, but old Time then was young, ii. 66 

There were five carlines in the south, ii. 152 

There were three kings into the east, i. 169 

The simple Bard, rough at the rastic plough, i. 36 

The small birds rejoice in the green leaves returning, ii. 42 

The smiling spring come in rejoicing, ii. 56 

The solemn league and covenant, ii. 197 

The sun had closed the winter day, i. 69 

The tailor fell through the bed, thimbles an' a', ii. 234 

The Thames flows proudly to the sea, ii. 22 

The tither morn, ii. 205 

The weary pund, the weary pund, ii. 266 

The wind blew hollow frae the hills, i. 205 

The wintry west extends his blast, i. 115 

Thickest night, o'erhang my dwelling, ii. 10 

Thine am I, my faithful fair, i. 269 

Thine be the volumes, Jessy fair, ii. 86 

This day Time winds tli' exhausted chain, ii. 73 

This wot ye all whom it concerns, ii. 45 

Thou bed in which I first began, ii. 309 

Thou flattering mark of friendship kind, ii. 310 

Though cruel fate should bid us part, ii. 235 

Thou hast left me ever, Jamie, i. 265 

Thou lingering star, with lessening ray, ii. 44 

Thou of an independent mind, ii. 75 

Thou's welcome, wean! mishanter fa' me, ii. 178 

Thou whom chance may hither lead, i. 185 


Thou, who thy honour as thy God rever'st, i. 208 

Through and through the inspired leaves, ii. 197 

'Tis friendship's pledge, my young, fair friend, ii. 3 

To Riddel, much-lamented man, ii. 198 

To thee, loved Nith, thy gladsome plains, ii. 263 

True-hearted was he, the sad swain o' the Yarrow, i. 249 

Turn again, thou fair Eliza, ii. 49 

'Twas even, the dewy fields were green, ii. 58 

'Twas in that place o' Scotland's isle, i. 1 

'Twas in the seventeen hundred year, ii. 162 

'Twas na her bonnie blue e'e was my ruin, i. 295 

'Twas where the birch and sounding thong are plied, ii. 130 

Up in the morning 's no for me, ii. 239 
Upon a simmer Sunday morn, i. 20 
Upon that night, when fairies light, i. 85 
Up wi' the carles o' Dysart, ii. 240 

Wae is my heart, and the tear 's in my e'e, ii. 261 

Wae worth thy power, thou cursed leaf, ii. 192 

Weary fa' you, Duncan Gray, ii. 238 

We came na here to view your warks, ii. 190 

Wee, modest, crimson-tipped flower, i. 132 

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin', tim'rous beastie, i. 100 

Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet, ii. 286 

Wha is that at my bower door, ii. 268 

Wlia will buy my troggin, ii. 160 

What ails ye now, ye lousy bitch, ii. 166 

What can a young lassie, what shall a young lassie, ii. 26 

Wiiat dost thou in that mansion fair, ii. 189 

What needs this din about the town o' Lon'on, ii. 148 

What of lords with whom you have supp'd, ii. 191 

What waefu' news is this I hear, ii. 164 

What will I do gin my Hoggie die, ii. 240 

When biting Boreas, fell and doure, i. 102 

When by a generous public's kind acclaim, ii. 176 

When chapman billies leave the street, i. 209 

When chill November's surly blast, i. 123 

When death's dark stream I ferry o'er, ii. 98 

When deceased to the deil went down, ii. 311 

When first I began for to sigh and to woo her, ii. 320 

When first I came to Stewart Kyle, ii. 310 

AVIien first my brave Johnnie lad, ii. 263 

When Guildford good our pilot stood, i. 171 

Wiien I think on the happy da3'S, ii. 319 

When lyart leaves bestrew the yard, ii. 133 

When Nature her great masterpiece design'd, i. 195 

When o'er the hill the eastern star, i. 237 

When rosy May conies in wi' flawers, ii. 284 

When the drums do Ijeat, ii. 318 

When wild war's deadly blast was blawn, i. 250 

Where are the joys I have inet in tiie morning, i. 267 

Where braving angry winter's storms, ii. 15 

Where Cart rins rowin' to the sea, ii. 57 

Where hae ye been sae braw, lad, ii. 214 

Where live ye, my boimie lass, ii. 246 

While at the stook the shearers cower, ii. 107 

While briars and woodbines budding green, i. 151 


While Europe's eye is fixed on miglity things, ii. 36 

While larks with little wing, i. 258 

While new-ca'd kye rowte at the stake, i. 156 

While virgin Spring, by Eden's flood, i. 216 

While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw, i. 105 

Whoe'er he be that sojourns here, ii. 199 

Whoe'er thou art, reader ! know, i. 218 

Whom will ye send to London town, ii. 156 

Why am I loth to leave this earthly scene, i. 127 

Wiiy, why tell thy lover, ii. 6 

Why, ye tenants of the lake, i. 228 

Wi' braw new branks, in meikle pride, ii. 145 ^ 

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed, ii. 52 

Will ye go to the Indies, my Mary, i. 233 

Wilt thou be my dearie, i. 271 

With Pegasus upon a day, ii. 319 

Wow, but your letter made me vauntie, ii. 89 

Ye banks, and braes, and streams around, i. 241 

Ye banks and braes o' bonnie Doon, ii. 51 

Ye flowery banks o' bonnie Doon, ii. 311 

Ye gallants bright, I rede ye right, ii. 287 

Ye hae lien a' wraug, lassie, ii. 312 

Ye holy walls, that still sublime, ii. 313 

Ye hypocrites ! are these your pranks, ii. 195 

Ye Irish lords, ye knights an' squires, i. 13 

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear, ii. 283 

Ye maggots, feed on Nicol's brain, ii. 203 

Ye men of wit and wealth, why all this sneering, ii. 196 

Ye sons of old Killie, assembled by Willie, ii. 320 

Yestreen I had a pint o' wine, ii. 237 

Ye true Loyal Natives, attend to my song, ii. 197 

Yon wand'ring rill, that marks the hill, ii. 315 

Yon wild mossy mountains, sae lofty and wide, ii. 273 

Young Jamie, pride of a' the plain, ii. 278 

Young Jockey was the blithest lad, ii. 255 

Young Peggy blooms our bonniest lass, ii. 257 

You're welcome to despots, Dumourier, ii. 152 

Your news and review, sir, I 've read through and through, sir, ii. 127 






A' THE lads o' Thorniebank, ii. 247 

As I was a-wand'ring ae midsummer e'enin', ii. 210 

Awa' AVhigs, awa', ii. 213 

Bannocks o' bear meal, ii. 285 

Ca' the yowes to the knowes, i. 274 

Coming through the rye, puir body, ii. 251 

First when Maggy was my care, ii. 253 

Gane is the day, and mirk 's the night, ii. 26 

I am my mammie's ae bairn, ii. 265 

I coft a stane o' haslock woo', ii. 277 

I '11 aye ca' in by yon town, ii. 236 

It is na, Jean, thy bonnie face, ii. 211 

Jamie, come try me, ii. 216 

Oh, aye my wife she dang me, ii. 255 

Oh, guid ale comes, and guid ale goes, ii. 215 

Oh Kenmure 's on and awa', Willie, ii. 301 

Ob, Lady Mary Ann, ii. 225 

Oh, sad and heavy should I part, ii. 277 

Oh, steer her up and baud her gaun, ii. 220 

Oh that I had ne'er been married, ii. 218 

Oh, whar did ye get that hauver meal bannock, ii. 2C7 

Robin shure in hairst, ii. 217 

Simmer's a pleasant time, ii. 215 

Sweetest May, let love inspire tliee, ii. 306 

The bonniest lad that e'er I saw, ii. 207 

The ploughman he's a bonnie lad, ii. 202 

There lived a carle on Kellyburn braes, ii. 281 

There was a bonnie lass, ii. 224 

There was a lass, they ca'd her Meg, ii. 231 

The titlier morn, ii. 205 

The weary pund, the weary pund, ii. 206 

Up in the morning 's no for me, ii. 239 

Up wi' the carles o' Dysart, ii. 240 

Wee Willie Gray, and his leather wallet, ii. 286 

Wha is that at my bower door, ii. 268 

What will I do gin my Hoggie die, ii. 240 

Where hae ye been sae braw, lad, ii. 214 

Where live ye, my bonnie lass, ii. 246 

Ye Jacobites by name, give an ear, give an ear, ii. 283 

Young Jamie, pride of a' the plain, ii. 278 

Young Jockey was the blithest lad, ii. 255 




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